Thursday, August 6, 2009

Quiet Time...

I know its been a long time since I have written, I apologize. There is just so much I have to say that I didn't know where to begin!

This summer I had the greatest opportunity to travel to Kenya and serve there with H.G. Bishop Paul. Going there, I thought something completely different than I had actually experienced.

Let me just jump right into it. They had a daily schedule for us to follow at the monastery, which I'll try to summarize. Wake up at 7. 7-8:30 quiet time, 8:30-10 praise and worship/bible study, 10-11 breakfast, 11-6 SERVICE, 6-7:30 quiet time. 8-9:30 praise and worship/bible study, 9:30 dinner, 10 praise and worship/tasbeha/sleep.

If you could tell, there were 3 hours of quiet time per day in the schedule. At first I thought it was a joke. How could I read the bible and sit in quiet and meditate on a couple of verses for so long!

I never absorbed the term 'quiet time' before. I mean I would do my daily readings (or try at least), put my bible away, and call it a day. After a week or so following the schedule and being woken up everyday to sit in like 2 hours of quiet, was kind of exhausting (physically and spiritually). I thought to myself, "Why am I waking up early, to sit in quiet?"

I tried to follow as diligently as I could, skipping a day here and there, thinking I was just doing an assignment. After about 10 days, I thought again, "Why am I just reading this and not even benefiting?" From hearing Bishop Paul and others about reflections on quiet time, I began to take it a little more seriously. Bishop Paul would say "How can you go out and serve and give during the day, without being filled first?" Also, they would emphasize that the point of quiet time is to hear God's personal message for you. I never knew what this meant until the day after I decided to take quiet time seriously. Even though mostly all of us were following the same St Mark's DC quiet time schedule, I felt the message and reading was directly to me, solely and nobody else. After this had happened, I was never as excited to read the Bible as I was now. I would have never thought when I woke up that I would be anxious to read the Bible, it was a crazy thought!

God bless the people that have been doing this out of their heart, but unfortunately I needed it to hit me directly for me to start taking it seriously. So in quiet time, sit in quiet for a little before reading. It cleared my mind of anything and everything, ready to absorb the Word of God and hear not only with my ears or eyes but with my heart. The quiet time that changed my life was from Revelations chapter 3 about the Lukewarm church. Knowing myself, I learned a lot about myself (well actually that its not knowing myself at all). And if God was able to speak to me and I was able to hear it, and accept it, and yearn to listen to His voice everyday, than anybody can do it...

"Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, for of from the camp; he called it the tent of meeting. And everyone who sought the Lord would go out to the tent of meeting which was outside the camp." Exodus 33:7-8

Even Moses did quiet time!! He set his tent OUTSIDE THE CAMP, away from all distractions, so he was able to hear the Word of God. Let us go outside our camp, away from our comfort zone, and close the door of our room, and open the door of our hearts..