22 Right then, Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead to the other side of the lake while he dismissed the crowds. 23 When he sent them away, he went up onto a mountain by himself to pray. Evening came and he was alone…” (Matthew 14:22-23, Common English Bible).
Until relatively recently I have not been a big fan of quiet time. Sure, there have always been times when I would want a little peace but for the most part, not so much.
I have always been a loud, sometimes obnoxious extrovert, who wants to be around people and communicating with people. I like to have people around me. I enjoy communicating with people. That communication can be at least a little bit loud. That can particularly be the case if that communication is going on in a place where there are other loud, sometimes obnoxious people communicating.
I have always believed in prayer. For much of my life I have prayed. That being said, I knew of the omnipresent nature of God. I understood the omnipotent element of God. And, if God is all powerful and all present, wouldn’t that mean that, wherever I am, God is going to hear me pray? I would think so.
In more recent years, particularly since going through Spiritual Directors training in the Charis program a few years ago, I have come to understand that quiet time isn’t necessary for God to hear me. That is far from the case. I need quiet time so I can hear God.
At one point in my career I thought I could write my sermons in my office with a constant parade of people walking through. I thought I could have an interruption and then return to my work and never miss a beat.
I was wrong. Did I ever write a sermon when there was loud and chaos around me? I feel pretty certain I did. But, I know now that it was more the exception than the rule. Most of the time I would probably write a paragraph or two at most and then stop and stare off into space, totally distracted from my writing. Why was I distracted? I couldn’t hear God over the noise and chaos around me. And, a sermon without God isn’t really a sermon at all.
I know for many of you, your quiet time is early in the morning. I even know a few of you who get up before the crack of dawn for your study and prayer time. You feel the presence of God during those hours. You can get a lot more done and more important, you can hear God in those early hours of the day.
I am not wired that way. I am a night owl. As I write this it is 2:10 A.M. This is my time of day (though I am rapidly reaching the end of my day). The house is quiet. I think I am the only creature awake in the hours. My friends Paul and Margie that live with me are asleep as are all the dogs. It is just quiet. There are no interruptions. It is just me and God.
Before starting to write this post, I got my sermon for this coming Sunday. It is only Monday night/Tuesday morning and the manuscript of my sermon is complete. With this short Thanksgiving week, that is a good thing.
When I finish this post I will have some prayer time and then go to bed. I realize now that all this is so much easier when I am quiet, when I am still and let my self know God and know who is God.
That is what I am grateful for today. What about you? What are you grateful for today? Write it in your journal and go share it with a friend.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
With joy and thankfulness,
Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved