|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Enjoy the journey by redeeming the time”
Our Bible verse for today: “A great and mighty wind was tearing at the mountains and was shattering cliffs before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was a voice, a soft whisper …” 1 kings 19:11-12 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “God uses His inside voice”
Yesterday I encouraged us all to consider taking a short spiritual retreat, some quiet time for just you and the Lord. That’s what the Old Testament prophet Elijah was doing in 1 Kings 19:11-12. He was alone with God in the wilderness.
There are many benefits to taking a spiritual retreat and one of them is that it helps us to focus. I’m talking about paying attention to what’s going on around you. In the military we called it “situational awareness”. But most of us aren’t very focused, at least not on the things that really matter. We’re too distracted. Our minds are filled with thoughts of the problems we believe we have, the things we need to do, and even fantasies of how we wish things were. There’s a lot of noise inside those heads of ours.
It’s true for all of us. We spend way too much time brooding about the past and being anxious about the future. Much of the time we’re thinking about “what was” and “what could be” rather than about “what is”.
A spiritual retreat helps to quiet the voices in our heads and to refocus on the present. I’m talking about mindfulness. It’s the ability to simply “be” and to see what “is”. It’s a time to savor and reflect and appreciate. It’s only then that we become truly alive. This is when we hear the birds sing, and we pause to appreciate the beauty of a flower, and we finally notice – really notice – how spectacular the scenery all around us is.
This is also when we begin to hear that “still small voice of God”. As Elijah learned during his time alone with God, seldom does God shout at us. Almost always He uses His inside voice – the voice we hear inside our heads and our hearts. It’s soft and quiet, and in order to hear it we need to be quiet too (and undistracted).
A spiritual retreat can help us to once again begin living in the moment and to be aware of God. Then, hopefully, some of that will carry over and come home with you. Perhaps you will begin to live more in the moment as a normal way of life.
In Psalm 46:10 The Lord said, “Be still and know that I am God …” It’s when we’re still and quiet that we begin to hear God speaking with His inside voice. A spiritual retreat helps to get us there.
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