Three weeks ago, I issued an invitation to join me in 21 days of stillness, or at least 10 minutes a day of stillness. I would love to sit here and write that I was able to complete the mandate, but I came up short. I started strong, finding time to just be still for the first half of the time, but the last half of the 21 days has been a challenge. I make no excuses. Some days, I got to the end of the day and just had not had time to stop. Other days, I passed up the chance early in the day only to find myself that night lying in bed having not spent the 10 minutes. (In case you were wondering, trying to be still and clear your mind for 10 minutes while tired and lying in bed is a great way to fall asleep!)
The challenge was not a total failure. I did spend some quality time with God and felt Him in a special way. At one time, I, in a very real way, felt as if God was embracing me. Even though I didn’t do what I set out to do, it is something that I want to continue to try. Maybe it won’t happen every day, but I want to continue making a point to set aside time to just be still and listen to God.
There were a couple unexpected side effects of spending this time listening to God. The first is that I found that I was hearing God throughout the day. In different situations, I could sense God’s voice, and I felt more connected to Him throughout the day. The second thing, very much related to the first, was that I started to take a minute or two during the day to listen. I could be still when a couple minutes presented themselves; I didn’t need to wait for the time set aside to do it, it started to become more natural.
I think that is the way it is supposed to be. If God is seeking a relationship, why wouldn’t He seek a natural conversation throughout the day? Maybe it is something that has to be practiced, but if you are willing to put in the time, you will reap the benefits. As the 21-day challenge comes to an end, my desire to be still is stronger than ever. I know that everyday won’t bring a natural time to sit and just be; I need to try and find the time. I also need to listen throughout the day and have a natural conversation with God.