30 July 2014

Quiet Time

I find myself longing for more quiet time. As a mom, I don't have enough.

But you, know, that's a lie.

I do have time for quiet time. It's just that I don't make it a priority. Yes, a lot of my time is filled with the chores of every day life. But there is time in my day that I just waste - blatantly and ridiculously. 

I try to justify my wasted time by saying that my mind is too tired for "quiet time." This TV show or that internet game (Candy Crush, oh geez) will help me quiet down for the day. 

But in reality, but I need, what my soul needs, is real, reflective quiet time.

Our small group is going through Life Together by Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Chapter three, The Day Alone, is all about the need for quiet time. Bonhoeffer's book is all about living in community, so it was strange to see a chapter about being alone in the midst of a book about living with others. He says, "Let him who cannot be alone beware of community."

I have long viewed quiet time as "me time," the shutting off of my brain, melting into the couch, weary at the end of the day. But the wasted time at the end of the day doesn't feed me like intentional, well-spent quiet moments.

"Silence is the simple stillness of the individual... nothing else but waiting for God's word and coming from God's word with a blessing."

Bonhoeffer outlines "three purposes for which the Christian needs a definite time when he can be alone during the day: scripture meditation, prayer, and intercession."

Scripture meditation: Bonhoeffer calls us to not read scripture as generic words, but to "read God's Word as God's Word for us." Scripture reading and meditation is a personal process, hearing God speaking directly to our heart and experiences.

Prayer: "We pray for the clarification of our day, for preservation from sin, for growth in sanctification, for faithfulness and strength in our work." When I am at a loss of how to pray, Bonhoeffer sums it up sweetly - I love his outline and can see if revealing so much.

Intercession: I often find myself writing down the struggles and prayers of others and never returning to those pages. How do I even begin praying for other? "Intercession means no more than to bring our brother into the presence of God, to see him under the cross of Jesus."

How do you use "quiet time," and how do you make it a priority in your day?

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