I have been hearing messages, sermons and I have been reading on solitude and silence. Both fit so well with my word for the year "abide". As I am looking back I realize I have made progress, but still I am very far from doing it well. I wanted to share with you a prayer that spoke to my heart last week.
YET THE MIND WANDERS……
Why, O Lord is it so hard for me to keep my heart directed toward you? Why do the many little things I want to do, and the many people I know, keep crowding into my mind, even during the hours I am totally free to be with you and you alone? Why does my mind wander off in so many directions, and why does my heart desire the things that lead me astray? Are you not enough for me? Do I keep doubting your love and care, your mercy and grace? Do I keep wondering, in the center of my being, whether you will give me all I need if I just keep my eyes on you?
Please accept my distractions, my fatigue, my irritations, and my faithless wanderings. You know me more deeply and fully than I know myself. You love me with a greater love than I can love myself. You even offer me more than I can desire. Look at me, see me in all my misery and inner confusion, and let me sense your presence in the midst of my turmoil. All I can do is show myself to you. Yet, I am afraid to do so. I am afraid that you will reject me. But I know – with the knowledge of faith – you desire to give me your love. The only thing you ask of me is not to hide from you, not to run away in despair; not to act as if you were a relentless despot.
Take my tired body, my confused mind, and my restless soul into your arms and give me rest, simple quiet rest. Do I ask too much too soon? I should not worry about that. You will let me know. Come, Lord Jesus, come. Amen.
Eerdman’s Book of Famous Prayers, ed. Veronica Zundel (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1983), p.106.
Also, in reading a study on Solitude and Silence the author suggests starting a file folder for a personal retreat day. Place a blank sheet of paper in it. As you move through your days, write on that sheet any passage of Scripture that begs to be pondered. Toss in the folder any magazine articles that you would like to ponder. Next to the folder, set books through which God has spoken to you in the past.
I would also suggest that if you keep a visual journal that you begin to collect images that speak to you. You never know when an image or passage might suggest a journal page.