Take Time, Be Quiet

"Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth." ” Psalm 46:10

Lent is the time of penitential preparation for us as Christians through prayer, penance, repentance, almsgiving, and self-denial. I have started my Lenten journey and I am sure that some of you have as well. The question we ask ourselves when starting is what will we do for Lent? Most people give up candy, cake, cookies, popcorn, etc.. but a better alternative is to take something. Take the time to work on a heart to heart relationship with Jesus. God is always with us, however, we at times are so busy with our activities and our constant thoughts that we don’t make room for God in order to cultivate a relationship with Him. This relationship has to be cultivated with time spent in prayer. This prayer isn’t just us asking for what we want from God. Remember that “..your father knows what you need before you ask him.” Matt 6:31. The fact that God knows what we are going to say before we ask doesn’t mean that we should not say anything. I think that God really wants us to hear our thoughts and feelings but like any good conversation there is a time to speak and a time to listen. That’s where silent prayer, or meditation if you will, comes into play. We need to quiet our minds enough to listen to God. To listen to God we need to sit and listen in silence to what our loving God wants to tell us. Now quieting our minds is a very difficult thing to do we have some many thoughts popping in and out almost constantly. If we try, we really can quiet things down and in that quiet we can listen to what God has to say. A passage from 1 Kings 19: 9-13 reminds me that God comes to us in silence as the Prophet Elijah found out.

“ At that place he came to a cave, and spent the night there. Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" 10 He answered, "I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away." 11 He said, "Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by." Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. 13 When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?"

So this Lenten season, don’t give up candy, cake, cookies, popcorn and things like that, but rather take the time to spend time in a loving conversation with our Creator and Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ. These are the things I think that are so important to Jesus. He wants a relationship with us. Will we give Him the opportunity this Lent?

Greetings from Bavaria, and blessings to you this Lent-
Matt Schneider

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