Inner quietness and rest does not come naturally to us 21st Century moderns. Yet, it is generic to fostering a mature relationship with God. Consider the following people who experienced the necessity of quietness before God:
- Jacob: So Jacob was left alone, and [an angel] wrestled with him till daybreak. (Gen. 32:24)
- Jeremiah: Oh, that I had in the desert a lodging place for travelers, so that I might leave my people and go away from them; for they are all adulterers, a crowd of unfaithful peopleI sat alone because your hand was on. (Jer. 9:2; 15:17b)
- Moses: I lay prostrate before the Lord those forty days and forty nights. Deut. 9:25a)
- Daniel: Now when Daniel learned that the decree [to worship the king] had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before. (Dan. 6:10)
– Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. (Lk. 5:15)
– "Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen one in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him and he will bring justice to the nations. He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets.He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent, so he did not open his mouth. (Isa. 42:1,2; 53:7) (See Matt. 12:16-20)
– When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. (Matt. 27:12)
The worshipful inner quietness of a 15th century monk, Brother Lawrence who worked in a monastery as a cook is compelling, I turn my little omelet in the pan for the love of God. When it is finished, if I have nothing to do, I prostrate myself on the ground and worship my God, who gave me this grace to make it, after which I arise happier than a king. When I can do nothing else, it is enough to have picked up a straw for the love of God. People look for ways of learning how to love God. They hope to attain it by I know not how many different practices. They take much trouble to abide in His presence by varied means. It is not a shorter and more direct way to do everything for the love of God, to make use of all the tasks ones lot in life demands to show him that love, and to maintain his presence within by the communication of our heart with his? There is nothing complicated about it. One has only to turn to it honestly and simplyThe time of business does not with me differ from the time of prayer, and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God as if I were upon my knees at the blessed sacrament.
Are you, on a consistent basis, carving out the time you need with God?
Have you clearly written out a life mission statement? To stay on target with that statement, do you make it a practice to periodically block off extended time to get away with your bible and calendar to evaluate the big picture, and make the necessary course corrections? (See Matt. 6:33; Eph. 5:14-17)
Are you learning the art of listening to and for the voice of God? Often in my times alone with God, after I have prayerfully meditated through a portion of Scripture, I will sit quietly alone in the presence of God, inviting him to impress upon my heart whatever truths he so desires. Be silent, and know that I am God! (Psa. 46:10a NLT)
Do you make it a practice to delegate and outsource everything but the essentials so that you can operate in your area of giftedness (genius) and calling? Or are you a perfectionist who micromanages everything? If you have perfectionist tendencies is it due to fear or pride? Or both? (See Exo. 18:21; Act. 6:1-4)