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Today I Sat Quietly

Today I sat quietly.

I turned off the TV and put away my phone. I closed the books and set my journal aside. I sat quietly, with nothing but my mind and Holy Spirit. 

It’s so easy to get distracted by all-the-things. 

If you’re like me, you crave purpose and understanding. You want to know what’s happening, why it’s happening, and how it’s going to happen. When I say “it” here, I mean all of it–all of life and everything in it. Relationships, jobs, money, church, trips, food, health, and everything else that makes up my day. There’s very few things I do without having some purpose, logic, or reason for it. I even have a reason for what TV show I choose to watch!

Do you ever feel this way? Like you want to understand everything that’s happening?

My husband is the opposite. He likes having reasons for things, but he doesn’t spend a lot of time searching for it. He cares about the purpose behind some things, but with others he’s more than content to not know why or how something works. 

I cannot relate. I want to know and understand everything and everyone all the time.

This search for meaning though is not always useful. Partially because there aren’t answers to why some things are the way they are. Partially because it’s exhausting. And even sometimes because the answer just isn’t fair, which adds a new level of purpose and understanding to learn! 

I know I’m speaking generally here–I apologize to you, reader, for my lack of specificity. Even without much clarity, I’m sure you know how I’m feeling. There’s so much in life and faith that we don’t understand and never will.

So today I chose to sit quietly. I gave my mind permission to stop constantly searching for answers. I got rid of as many distractions as I could. I grounded myself in the present moment with some deep breaths. I attuned my soul to the Spirit of God in me, resting in the peace that passes understanding. 

A gentle, “Hi, God” floated across my mind, recognizing that I’m not alone. There is something about sitting quietly and still that allows me to recognize these holy whispers. My body felt warm, like I was being embraced by a divine comforter. 

Creating this quiet environment with no physical sound or visual distractions allowed my whole being to get quiet. This spiritual practice of silence and stillness can be really intimidating. Especially if you’re like me, looking for a reason, wanting to get something out of the silence, or wondering if you’re doing it right. But the purpose is to just be. It’s to practice abiding in Christ. We only learn what it means to “remain in Christ” (John 15:4) by practicing this silent stillness where we allow Holy Spirit to run the show. No agenda, no bullet point outline, no scheduled end time or outcomes. Just coming before God with nothing but ourselves. 

I find this particular spiritual practice is easy to teach but hard to learn. I think this is because it’s one of the parts of a believers life we don’t really see other people do! In a regular church service, we hear people pray, we see worship through song, and we see someone read Scripture. So it’s easier to add those into our daily lives because we know precisely what they look like. We don’t typically see someone practice Sabbath. They may talk about it, but unless you are a guest in their home on that day, it’s rarely seen. We don’t often get invited to someone’s house for a time of silence. The spiritual practices we do together are Bible studies, small groups, living in community, and serving. Again, we can hear (or in this case read) about someone’s quiet devotional time or spiritual practice, but we rarely see it with our own eyes. 

For perfectionists like me, this can be really difficult because without having an example to follow, we fear we will do it wrong. 

Has this fear ever stopped you from embracing spiritual rhythms? Are there any spiritual practices–fasting, silence, confession, meditation, to name a few–that you’re interested in pursuing but have never seen done before and aren’t sure how

I invite you to sit quietly with me today. When you’re done reading this, schedule a time of even just 10 minutes to turn off all devices, close the door, and sit silently with God. It can be in your car, in your closet, even in the bathroom at work! Rid yourself of any external stimulation such as sound, visuals, and even extreme temperatures and hunger. 

Pay attention to what happens when you get silent and still. How does your body feel? Does it relax into the absence or feel tense and uncomfortable? What comes into your mind? Is your head full of negative thoughts, positive ones, random things, or to-do lists? Just sit in silence and notice what’s happening. 

Then, direct your attention to God. Maybe a Bible verse will pop into your mind. Pray those words of Scripture. Maybe a person will appear in your head. Pray for them. Maybe you’ll feel that warm embrace like I did today. Praise God for this physical sensation. Or, you could leave the time of silent stillness feeling like you didn’t “get” anything out of it. It could feel like a waste of time or just plain weird! These are all real possibilities, and I can’t give you a specific reason or purpose for any of these outcomes. 

No matter what though, for a few moments, you refused to let all-the-things get in the way of your existence. You sat and got to just be who you are. This is a gift, and we don’t always need a reason to get a gift! 

Today I sat quietly. I was still and silent on my couch, abiding in Christ as he also remained in me (John 15:4). 

For more abiding practice, download the free guide to abide

Thanks for making this a part of your day!
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