Do you ever wonder?
Is that even a thing these days? Do we sit and ponder, let our thoughts wander, long enough to explore rabbit trails of thought that lead us to new ideas?
I’m a person who craves some quiet.
I don’t mean absolute silence, that would probably be unnerving. I do, however, hunger for some time to unplug my brain from the Matrix and simply be.
Why not try it for a moment. I’ll wait…
Maybe all of this hunger is in everyone, I don’t know, but it is definitely crying out in me. I think it is one reason I cherish my Quaker tradition. As a pastor in a programmed Quaker church I know that for many walking in our door for the first time the biggest difference in our worship service will be the time of quiet Open Worship. It is a time for reflection, a time for waiting, a time to be still and simply listen for God to speak.
It was a radical idea at our founding, that God would speak to mere mortals without ordination or position in the priesthood. Today, it seems God speaks to everyone–which is great–but I often wonder when and how that communication takes place.
Outside of a Quaker meeting, a silent monastic retreat, or other special occasion quiet can be hard to come by in our modern world. There is always a phone with a notification light begging to be checked. There is always a song playing. There is always a podcast streaming, or a binge-worthy series on Netflix.
If you are a parent or a spouse, or even a roommate maybe you’ve noticed a challenge in making space for real conversations with the physically embodied people in your life. How much harder, then to make space for a God who waits.
The beautiful thing about God is that time isn’t a problem. God is here, now and tomorrow, and across the universe. God has all the time in the world, and is always attentive to the cries of our hearts. But are we?
We don’t have all the time in the world. We are finite.
We can’t listen to podcasts and multitask while slamming a triple espresso on our way to run errands we should have finished yesterday, and still hear the desperate cry of our hearts for peace.
We must slow down.
We must choose to put our feet on a different path. To cross over from hectic chaos to stillness.
It’s our choice. The invitation has been extended.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matthew 11:28-30 MSG