Earlier this month, I spent a week at The Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Ga., where I received instruction on contemplative, or centering, prayer. We participants remained silent except for during daily worship and class times.
Eating meals silently allowed us to focus on God’s generosity and appreciate the food's flavor. The scripture “Taste and see that the Lord is good” took on new meaning. Walking silently, we focused on the wonder, beauty and countless intricacies of God’s creation. The scripture, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” took on new meaning. Silently watching Canada geese, chipmunks, squirrels, birds and bugs provided a new sense of wonder at the many creatures over which God watches and cares. The scripture, “Not a sparrow falls to the ground that your heavenly Father does not know about it” took on new meaning.
In this world of many noises and distractions, spending time in silence and in prayer is a challenge.
Yet, the benefits were many. God never ceases to speak, reveal himself or provide life in us and around us.
May I suggest you allow yourself some time to be still and quiet, just focusing on God’s presence, his love and his grace that is given to you?
When you can do this, you will also learn to find God wherever you are.
The Rev. Mark Broadhead is Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church of Crestview’s pastor.