SOOOOOOOOOOOO, I’m going to start a silent retreat on Friday night. An 8 DAY silent retreat. . . . hmmmmm. . . . don’t know how I feel about this. I am excited, I am anxious, I am restless, I am confused. . . and a million other possibilities.
I spent four days on the Appalachian Trail by myself, two summers ago. BUT, that was nothing compared to this. On the trail I was exhausted from hiking everyday and didn’t really think or pray much. Here, I am going to have nothing to do but think and pray! FOR 8 DAYS!!!! AAAHHHHH
Actually, I am exaggerating a little bit. I am very excited to see what God has in store for me. I thought that he had really stretched me last quarter but I am certain that this is just going to take me further into my journey. I remember watching a video about noise made by Rob Bell. In it he says:In 1968 to get one hour of complete silence, it took someone 15 hours of recording time. A silence without anything man made. Right now, to get that same one hour of silence it takes 2,000 HOURS of recording time! WHOA!
That is over 83 days.
Now, lets hit up some bible verses (I’m going somewhere with this). 1 Kings 19:11-13 says this:
So He said, “Go forth and stand on the mountain before the LORD ” And behold, the LORD was passing by! And a great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks 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. After the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave And behold, a voice came to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
Elijah is up on a mountain and is trying to hear the voice of God through some major noise. He probably sat there for awhile. I don’t know how long it takes for wind to break apart rocks or for an earthquake to happen or a fire to suddenly start and spread…but I am guessing they didn’t happen within minutes, probably not hours either. I would also like to point out that there were not many man-made things on this mountain making noise. Elijah was trying to hear God’s voice through the noise that Nature alone makes.
In my head I can see Elijah just sitting for possibly days trying to hear God’s voice. Something that I find myself doing all the time. Is it possible that it has something to do with the noise in the world. If I take the statistic of Rob Bell, it would mean that just to get one hour of conversation with God, I would have to spend 83.3 DAYS in prayer. AND THAT IS NOT COUNTING THE NOISE OF NATURE. On top of that I would then spend even longer trying to shift through all the insect noises, the rain, the wind, the lake, the birds, the trees and leaves, and anything else that is around to finally get to the gentle blowing silence of God’s voice.
I think I can understand now why some people have to spend massive amounts of time in prayer just to listen to a small fraction of God’s voice….