Wednesday Word: Quiet
But he would withdraw to deserted places and pray. – Luke 5:16
Depending on how you count, there are at least seven instances where the gospels record Jesus as going away either alone or with the disciples to pray. It is generally accepted that the earthly ministry of Jesus lasted three years; so we can extrapolate that these times of prayer, either in solitude or with his companions, happened roughly twice a year.
I bring this up because life can be hectic. We get involved in work, or school, or our children's activities, or this or that, and, before you know it, it seems like we have no time for ourselves. I remember as a young child seeing visions of life in the 2000's with images of relaxation, ease, and leisure. Technology and the upward swing of society in general was supposed to make life easier and more fun. That hasn't turned out to be the case; and some might argue that we are more busy than we have ever been. Gone are the days of riding bikes or spending time in the park as long as we were home by dinner. Now it seems that every moment of every day is scheduled with some kind of activity.
I'm not necessarily calling for a return to simpler times, although that would be nice, but I am calling for us to pay attention to our lives – physically, mentally, and spiritually. Like Jesus, we can get caught up in the hustle and bustle of our lives; but unlike Jesus, we probably have a tendency to forget to spend time in intentional prayer.
I hope we all pray something at some point every day. Whether that is a rule of morning prayer, prayers over our meals, prayers for safe travel to and from work, or prayers at bedtime, we probably all pray something some time. But is it intentional? Do we make time to “withdraw to deserted places and pray?”
I'm guessing not.
With that in mind, I invite you to come away to a quiet place this Saturday, October 14, for the DOK-sponsored Quiet Day. Like Jesus, these happen roughly twice a year. Like Jesus, it is a time of reflection and quiet prayer as we spend some intentional time with God.
I know life is hectic. I know our schedules are busy. I know it's hard to carve out some time away from all of that to just sit and “be,” but it's also necessary. As Christians we claim to follow and try to emulate the life of Christ. Yes, this is all of the stuff about loving God, loving neighbor, bearing good fruit, and so much else; but it is also about following his example of carving out time away from the rush and crush of our everyday lives to spend time with God.
I invite you therefore, to follow the example of Jesus and withdraw to St. John's this Saturday for some intentional time with God.