"In repentance and rest is your salvation; in quietness and trust is your strength.” — Isaiah 30:15
This is an interesting topic. It is NOT something that I am known for. I like to talk, and I like other people to talk to me.
However, growing up on a farm in Midland (just down the road a piece) I would go out by myself after finishing morning chores and head to the woods. There I had a place where I could go and be alone, listening to a little creek and dreaming about going places and doing great things. I did go places (Southeast Asia) and I did do things, I don’t know how great they were!
I met Mary -- one of the smartest things that I had ever done. We had a family with two great boys. They loved to fish and I would take them out fishing. One time I had Ben out on the lake and I was talking about how great it was, how tranquil, how quiet. Then he looked at me and said, "Dad it would be if you could be quiet for a while.” I did say I liked to talk! So you know I have had this issue most of my life.
Fast-forward to present day. In August, I was diagnosed with cancer of the tongue. I wasn’t too worried, I knew they could fix it and I knew that I had my church praying for me. After the operation when the surgeon removed part of my tongue, I felt like we would get on with the rest of our lives. Just pick back up. But that wasn’t to be. I was told that I needed to have 30 radiation treatments. These were to be in a tube with a form-fitting mask over my head along with a bite block in my mouth.
Wow! Did I mention I have claustrophobia? So what has this to do with silence and solitude? I go into this contraption not being able to talk and I am by myself. I find that I close my eyes and start praying. Interestingly enough, by about session 5 I was starting to work on my Lenten devotional. I find that more and more I haven’t finished my prayers when they bring me out. It took me three sessions to get my thoughts together for this devotional.
I have found that I have started doing quiet times at night before I go to bed. These times are helping me to become a stronger person in my Christian beliefs. You may not want to take the path that I took, but you may want to consider spending some time in a quiet place. Start out small. Maybe 10 minutes and then see if you don’t need more time.
Oh Lord, help me to be still and listen, help me to let go of the distractions that are encountered daily and focus on my relationship with you. In your name I pray. Amen
About Gordon Haines
I have been a member of STUMC since 1983. I was fortunate to have been on the original Building Committee that built our present church. I have been on almost every committee in the church life and am now serving as the Head Lay Leader.