Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Quiet Comes With

So I'm sitting in the corner of a McDonald's restaurant in Isanti.  I left the hermitage at about 11:30, drove over here, and have been catching up on correspondence and other things ever since.  I was able to get things pretty much ready for Sunday while at the hermitage, after ending a 40+ hour fast and having dinner with the Pacem In Terris staff and three or four other guests, so I'm not feeling rushed.

It is pretty noisy here but I'm still carrying the quiet inside.  Of course, there's no one I know here at the restaurant, so that helps I guess.  I've got a few stops to make before I get home, including at the North Heights Prayer Room in Roseville.  Most likely I'll write a bit about that later.  I see they have set up a blog where people are writing about their time in the prayer room there at  Check it out.

I am thankful for the time away.  It is good to be still, to be quiet, to be alone with God.  I wonder though: If Jesus took time for this, why don't we, as his followers, take time for this more often?  Maybe it's because we don't know how. 

That's one thing that's been good about my time at Pacem In Terris (see Wednesday's post: 48 in 84).  They gave a few instructions--don't bring much with you.  Mostly take time to just be still and be quiet.  Rest and sleep when you are tired.  Read a few verses of scripture.  Enjoy quiet time alone with God's creation.  Being in a natural setting is helpful.  Fasting, for me, was really important.  Food can be such a distraction!  I chose to start my fast about 24 hours before I actually got to the hermitage and broke my fast when it seemed it was good to do so.  Also, I didn't look at a clock at all until my fast was over.  That was good too.

I feel a lightness of soul and spirit, a sense of peace.  I chose to break my fast and then do some quiet work on sermon preparation during the later part of my time in the hermitage, not because I had to, but because it seemed that was what the Lord was calling me to do at the time.  I found great peace and good energy in completing that work.  I am so thankful to my Lord!  And thankful to the staff and volunteers at Pacem In Terris who provide that protective environment and a place to be quiet.  So good.

So I've got a few more things to do before I leave McDonald's.  Even here one can be still and know God.

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