Scripture: Psalm 27:3-5 (the Message)
When besieged, I’m calm as a baby. When all hell breaks loose, I’m collected and cool. I’m asking God for one thing, only one thing: To live with him in his house my whole life long. I’ll contemplate his beauty; I’ll study at his feet. That’s the only quiet, secure place in a noisy world, The perfect getaway, far from the buzz of traffic.
Thought for the Day: This Sunday is the first Sunday of Lent, and we will begin a new series entitled: A-Lent-A-Palooza — The Crossing of Paradox. Each week, we will reflect on one of the Spiritual Disciplines with an openness to see anew the meaning and purpose of the practice. Too often we approach a certain word with a preconceived idea of its meaning, yet Jesus spun old ideas back on themselves for the purpose of reinvigorating or reinventing them. Maybe it was because a spiritual practice had become too rote or empty – or maybe it had been co-opted by someone who had an agenda contrary to that of God. Whatever the case, it appears that Jesus wanted ancient spiritual practices to be understood as life-giving, not life-draining.
This first Sunday, we will discuss silence and meditation. No one is surprised to hear me say that we live in a noisy and chaotic world. Quiet, for most of us, is still pulsating with the noise of all kinds of things that we have come to ignore…or have we? Most of us have learned selective hearing, though our ability to tune things out often keeps us from perceiving that which is really important. I am reminded of the words of Henri Nouwen: “Somewhere we know that without silence words lose their meaning and without listening speaking no longer heals…” Silence is not the panacea for the clutter and chaos of life, but it does creates intentional space where the Ever-Present God can be appreciated and heard. Times of silence better prepare us to return to the craziness of life where the noise and turmoil are less likely to suffocate our spirits.
Prayer: Call to us, O Holy One of the Silence. Engage us and reveal to us your healing presence made available as we quiet ourselves. Amen.