Someone asked me yesterday, Tell me how you enter the silence? Well I was flooded with why’s, how’s, and what’s of this place. So let me share with you my journey.
“O God, You are my God; Early will I seek you; My soul thirsts for You; My flesh longs for You in a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.” ~ Psalm 63:1
Early Rising to Enter the Silence
When I first heard of “early rising” to be with the Lord, my heart leapt. I couldn’t wait to go to bed so I could wake up and be with Him. I was filled with such joy and anticipation of the time. But as the days and weeks and months passed by I realized I was not accessing what I had hoped for and was becoming disheartened. My approach was wrong.
I had my spot all prepared. I had my coffee and my bible and sat at the edge of my seat. Yes, everything was arranged but internally I was not ready. The time became a struggle to lay aside all that raced through my mind. Eventually I was so exacerbated until this time became more a dread than a joy. “I was a failure,” so I thought. But this was my shortsightedness. Yes, I had prepared my externals: in time, in location and He gave me the desire, but I didn’t have the ability.
I believed I had to still myself for prayer. I worked feverishly to wrestle my mind down. I thought my only way of accessing all of God in true intimacy was in creating a silence. What I discovered was that the labor of silencing should be the work of listening. It is not to subdue the thinking but to surrender the mind to hearing. In order to hear you must submit to another. All my fighting with a chaotic mind was just involvement with myself. I had plenty of myself, what I wanted was to touch Another. God infused me with the burn to take on this task in the first place, now He would have to fulfill it in me.
The end goal all along was not to enter the silence but the hearing. So the effort needs to match the goal. What a tremendous relief to my soulish attempts; I didn’t have to conquer the 80-foot boa constrictor of my mind. I needed to yield to the One who created my mind.
But wait! The most exciting discovery was yet to come.