We must do our business faithfully, without trouble or disquiet, recalling our mind to God mildly, and with tranquility, as often as we find it wandering from Him. ~ Brother Lawrence
I long to commune with God: to learn to hear, not just speak. In some Christian circles, a time of study and meditation and prayer is called having your Quiet Time. For most, this simply means a designated time, set aside for God and God alone.
Having a Quiet Time was a practice I picked up in high school and carried on most of my life. I’ve done prayer journals and gratitude journals and Read Through the Bible in One Year programs. I’ve learned a lot and none of the time was in any way without merit. It didn’t come naturally to me. Spending an hour or even a half hour a day for my Quiet Time was a challenge.
And now, the confession. I learned to be externally quiet, but my Quiet Times were a bit like telling a child they need to have a Time Out. The child may sit in the chair, but that doesn’t mean there’s an internal calming down or reexamining of behavior.
I sat in my chair and did my best to concentrate, but I’ve always had an unquiet mind. Regardless of the stillness of my body, my mind raced. As I prayed for someone, I’d quickly become distracted as I thought about their circumstances. Sometimes even switching from prayer to problem solving.
My mind wandered in my Bible reading. I found myself only vaguely aware of the 4 chapters that I’d just read in Lamentations. I had glimpses of what it was like to Be still and know that I am God, but they were fleeting.
In the last few years, I’ve begun to have some experience with interior stillness accompanying my exterior stillness. I think this comes more naturally for some people than it has for me. God, is His grace, has answered my heart’s plea to quiet my mind, not just my body. Some days, my mind still takes off without me! When it does, I’m reminded of Brother Lawrence’s counsel: We must do our business faithfully, without trouble or disquiet, recalling our mind to God mildly, and with tranquility, as often as we find it wandering from him.