A friend shared an invitation with me. An Invitation To Solitude and Silence. A book written by, Ruth Haley Barton, a woman starving for intimacy with her Lord. I believe the friend who shared this with me was prompted by the Holy Spirit to lend me this treasure. It is HIS perfect timing and for the last month or so this is what the Lord has laid on my heart. To come away with Him, to simply Be Still. Ruth writes of wanting to feel and know God in the very cells of her being. She was starved for rest, to know God beyond what she could do for Him. Starved for quiet, to hear the sound of sheer silence that is the presence of God himself.
I just love the analogy that her spiritual director shared with her. She told Ruth that she was like a jar of river water all shaken up. That what she needed is to sit still long enough that the sediment can settle and the water can become clear. Isn't it wonderful? I can relate to this, it's exactly what I feel like at times. The sediment that swirls inside the jar is the busyness, the emotions, the thoughts, the plans, the to-do lists, the inner wrestlings that keep me busy. She cuts right to my heart. Along with this being a self-discovery for Ruth, it is a self-discovery for me. I am joyfully accepting her Invitation To Solitude and Silence, and today this part of my spiritual journeying begins.
I want to conclude today with an exert in her book that impacted me to the core. "The practices of solitude and silence are radical because they challenge us on every level of our existence. They challenge us on the level of culture: there is little in Western culture that supports us in entering what feels like unproductive time for being and listening. They confront us on the level of our human relationships: they call us away from those relationships for a time so we can give undivided attention to God. They challenge us on the level of our soul: in the silence we become aware of inner dynamics we have been able to avoid by keeping ourselves noisy and busy. They draw us into spiritual battle: in silence there is the potential for each of us to "know that I am God" with such certainty that the competing powers of evil and sin and the ego-self can no longer hold us in their grip. All the forces of evil band together to prevent our KNOWING GOD IN THIS WAY, because it brings to an END the dominion of those powers in our lives."
I have many choices in this life that God has blessed me with. The most important desire He has given me, is to know Him and love Him as fully as I can here, before I see Him face to face!