By Gail Billings
TODAY ONLY! ACT NOW! DON'T WAIT! HURRY, STRICTLY LIMITED TIME OFFER! How many times in your day or week do you read or hear these words? When you connect with them, what emotions do they elicit?
Words have power and some of our most valued relationships are created from one on one conversations. As a teacher, my most treasured moments of an instructional day were spent individually mentoring a student, listening to the students' needs, and empowering that student with a thought or practice which would achieve a desired goal. But often the quietude of a day was an ideal setting for reflection, gaining wisdom, and/or restoration of mind. At the conclusion of my instructional day, I would sit in silence and solitude to consider where I had led my students' learning and map my lesson planning to determine future guidance and reinforcement for their knowledge. Such a setting was necessary to disengage from outside distractions in order to engage in reflective thinking for the purpose of achieving my desired goal.
So many times in our lives we ignore quiet moments regarding them as nonproductive or uncomfortable when truly our modern culture necessitates such a spiritual practice. Matthew 14:23-24 affirms Jesus' intentional choice to separate from noise and confusion as an opportunity to restore and seek guidance through silence and solitude.
And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came he was there alone.
And so, in my personal living when I intentionally choose to listen in quiet times of solitude, I embrace these moments as opportunities for restoring my focus upon the true importance of life and allowing myself the setting to examine my heart and mind; convening with God and listening to HIS voice. Fortunately, it is not STRICTLY A LIMITED TIME OFFER.