Quoting myself into silence

But I am…convinced that if(!) I can discipline my heart in 2011 to wait for God to reveal more of who he created me to be, then what I do will flow naturally from that.

I have just quoted myself.  Honesty forces me to admit that I am the one who smiles when other people quote themselves.  Especially when they haven’t actually published the statement which they are quoting, save for perhaps in conversation.

In fact, a friend whom I have known for years so enjoys quoting himself that I suspect that on his preaching powerpoint he sometimes attributes quotations to himself which he has never even vocalised until the moment that he speaks them in preaching!

I laugh, but I have joined the ranks of the self-quoters, it would seem.  All I wanted to do was to reference that particular section of my last post!  And now, on to my real point…

I’ve been thinking for the last couple of weeks about what part I might have in creating the kind of conditions which might make me more receptive to what God might reveal to me, what words he might say to me.  And, as I have said in my subtle self-quotation, I think it is about how I discipline my heart to wait for words in a world of books, TV, texts, facebook chat and instant messenger – a place where I can get most kinds of words on demand.

There are, I think, a few practices which might help me to learn the quietness of a soul that waits and listens.  And these are what I commit to living with in the next six months.

CREATING SPACE FOR GOD TO SPEAK

  • Solitude
  • Meditating on Scripture (which may mean dwelling in it, rather than reading great swathes of it)
  • Times of listening silence before God (which means a silence that is heart-deep: thus, not only no music or talking but also no reading at those times.  How will I cope?)
  • ‘No agenda’ devotional times (and yes, no agenda means no prayer shopping lists, not even church/pastoral care-related ones!)

CREATING SPACE FOR GOD TO SPEAK THROUGH OTHERS

  • Reading (thank goodness!) in the area of spirituality
  • Perhaps even exploring spiritual direction again, and definitely appropriate openness with believing friends

CREATING SPACE FOR ME TO RESPOND

  • Journalling

The only one I am tentative about is the spiritual direction.  To put this in context, last time I tried to find a director, I ended up being pointed by an Anglican minister to someone who sounded great until I realised that she was into Green Spirit and a New Age community.  This pretty much put me off trying spiritual direction again for a couple of years, although I can just about laugh about it now!

So if these are the practices which I am investing in as rhythms which give life, can you name yours?

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5 thoughts on “Quoting myself into silence

  1. Chloe, awesome stuff, as usual! Mine is ‘listening silence’ before God. No music, fine. No talking, cinch! No reading, no problem. But silencing all of the swirling thoughts, people, meetings, vision, stuff to do…that is the most difficult. It seems near impossible! But I will persist in trying to invest in listening silence before God as a rhythm of my life, because I want to hear His voice!!!!! So much.

    And I want every sense to be heightened by, atuned to, and filled with Him.

    Life!

  2. Let’s hold one another accountable to making space for this then (rather than only talking or blogging about it!). You might really enjoy reading Haley Barton’s ‘Invitation into Solitude and Silence’ as she talks about the practical experience of silencing the heart to listen, including the things you mention. x

    • Might I borrow it on the 28th of Jan and post it back to you? I have been trying to practise the art…and will keep you posted as I keep trying.

      By the way, your next post is probably the most challenging of your blogs that I have read so far (being the star of your own show…) Wow.

  3. Pingback: (Nearly) half-year review « The Art of Steering

  4. Pingback: Not so lost in 2011! « The Art of Steering

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