A Do Nothing Attitude

img_1217279450352_81I have an issue with “quiet time.” You’d think since I work from home, have no children to care for (mine are grown and gone) and live smack in the middle of twenty acres, I’d be a pro at it. It’s not that I have a problem being alone—because I don’t. But “quiet time” is something of an enigma for me.

I love studying the bible and at this present time, I’m delving into the book of Romans with my ladies’ bible study group. And although conviction is sometimes difficult, I get energized when working through a topical study or book like The Calvary Road by Roy Hession, which is what my husband and I are reading with our small group. Each morning when I rise, my first hour is devoted to these studies, as well as time reading and memorizing scripture.

But true quiet time, that in which my mind is cleared and prepared to receive a word from God, defies me. My prayers are seldom focused as my mind shoots off in too many directions to keep it under control for long enough to finish a thought. Rather than being focused, it’s a criss-cross of rabbit trails and half-forgotten ideas. No one who knows me would consider me to be ADHD—unless they had the ability to read my mind.

So, when last weekend neared and my husband prepared to leave for a three-day hunting trip, I purposely didn’t load up on projects that would keep me busy from the time I got out of bed to the time I stumbled back in some eighteen plus hours later. Because that’s how I generally deal with extended time by myself. It’s as if I’m fearful that if I’m truly quiet, I might not like what I find at the end of my mind.

I think my husband has the right idea. He hikes to solitude in the woods with nothing more to do than study the terrain and hope a trophy deer wanders into his domain (you anti-hunters out there will be thrilled to know he came home empty-handed.) It’s extended time to devote to prayer and listen for the still, quiet voice of God. He isn’t distracted by cobwebs that need to be cleaned, dogs to be bathed and fed or a yard calling to be tended. He’s not fearful of what he’ll find at the end of his mind, and I envy him that. It comes more naturally to him.

But I made a conscious effort this past weekend to stay quiet—to wait for the Holy Spirit’s tap on my shoulder and give me the answers I so desperately needed in the midst of my struggle. What I received wasn’t a specific answer to my prayers, but His peace. I knew when the weekend was over, a decision would be made. And it wasn’t mine to make. Instead, He worked on preparing my heart for what he was doing through my husband. And He didn’t disappoint.

If you, like me, struggle with being quiet, I urge you to seize the opportunity to be still, mind and heart focused on what God might have for you—a word, a moving of your spirit or just the peace He’s promised us in His Word. I guarantee, it’ll be worth your effort…er…non-effort. Who knew it was so hard to do nothing?

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