Jesus modeled a life of rhythm: work/rest… crowds/solitude… busy/unhurry.
We know that we, too, need to develop a life rhythm. One where we intentionally weave times of rest and play into our busy, loud, and all too often chaotic lives – for the health of our physical body and the good of our physical being.
But let’s not forget the part of us that is so easily overlooked – that invisible yet crucial part – our soul.
As we enter this new year of 2018 eager to make healthy changes in our life-styles, let’s remember that just as our physical body needs rest and play, our soul requires times of unhurry.
Spiritual Practices for Soul-Unhurry
And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. Mark 6:31
Solitude is the practice of intentionally unplugging. Solitude allows us to experience God as He restores our soul, and it is one of the most important of the spiritual disciplines.
Drawing aside for lengthy periods of time serves to rid us of the “deterioration” of soul that results from constant interaction. In this place of quiet communion, we are able to discover again that we do have a soul and that it needs to be nurtured. It is here in this place that we begin to experience the presence of God in the inner sanctuary, speaking to and interacting with us. And it is here that we understand once again that God will not compete for our attention.
In his book, An Unhurried Life, Alan Fadling refers to this discipline by the name Extended Personal Communion with God because he says this term sounds warmer and more inviting to him than the word “solitude.” Perhaps a “renaming” will be helpful to you, too.
But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him. Habakkuk 2:20
In our culture silence is rare, but in the Word of God we see that silence is essential.
Silence as a spiritual discipline is the practice of drawing away to a quiet place and not speaking in order to quiet the mind and attend to God’s presence. During silence we abstain from sound in order to make space for a deeper engagement with God.
Simply defined, prayer is conversing with God.
In thinking of it as a conversation, however, we need to take care not to assume that we must fill the time with words. Praying is not so much the mustering up of words and energy, as it is a time of joining in with God and His activity.
Unhurry your soul. Train yourself to abide in prayer, form a habit of resting in God’s grace.
Practice God’s Presence –
Settle yourself in God’s presence before entering your day. Try sitting alone in silence and solitude for five or so minutes at the beginning of your day. Find a quiet spot in your home or possibly outside. Then during the day briefly return back to your time of quiet in God’s presence as often as you remember (or set an alarm to help you remember).
Slow Down –
Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10a
Learn the art of lingering. Be still and slow down your thoughts. Pause as you read a verse of Scripture. Savor a word or phrase. Reflect on God’s words to you.
And as you linger, listen. Just stop reading, quietly absorb, and rest in the loving arms of Christ.
Take a “Selah” – a pause to reflect and pray. Create a sacred space to be still and quiet before the Lord.
Journaling is an invaluable tool for unhurrying the soul. The spiritual discipline of journaling creates space, focuses our attention, and builds relationship. It invites us to be quiet and still.
Journaling provides rest and helps us be with God as we use it to record our prayers, Scripture study, times of solitude, and so much more.