This tree of contemplation I found a few years ago at www.contemplativemind.org which was interesting to ponder on, having looked at their site a number of years ago, they have a different Tree design now.
Waiting: Passive or active? Waiting to serve, like a waiter/waitress, waiting in line at a store, waiting for food, waiting for a doctor, or waiting for a friend. These are all different types of waiting. Those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength. Are we waiting on God? Are we looking for God, are we focused on the Lord? Do we wait long enough for the Lord to do something? Do we wait to hear what God really desires for us to do through us, we are to wait on God as a server, to be an available servant? Do we draw near to God, the prerequisite for the Lord to draw near to us?
God is waiting for you, will we take the time to give to our spiritual needs and the needs of God. If we do not do this, we are saying we are in control of our lives and don’t need God. We all need God if we realize this or not, God is the one who breathed life into us from the beginning, and wants to breathe into us new life each and every day.
On the day of Pentecost the disciple where instructed by Jesus to have expectation of a gift, how patient are we when it comes to waiting for a gift? This is the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Luke 24:49Modern English Version (MEV)
49 And look, I am sending the promise of My Father upon you. But wait in the city of Jerusalem until you are clothed with power from on high.”
Is it a heart condition of waiting the lord is looking at? And not solely the power, for our focus is not about might or power, but to be open to the giver.
Zechariah 4:6 New International Version (NIV)
6 So he said to me, “This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord Almighty.
It is not about our power but the Lord Jesus’
Ephesians 3:20New International Version (NIV)
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,
Psalm 130:5 New International Version (NIV)
5 I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits,
and in his word I put my hope.
Being Still is the practice of waiting!
It’s about being still, waiting and knowing the word of the Lord, to first seek the counsel of the Lord. This is difficult because we are in an instant gratification society and looking to be about getting our next fix, my needs being met right now! We don’t know how to wait. I’m guilty also, how to be content in the waiting?
Today’s society does not allow for stillness, waiting on God, it is viewed as unproductive. We don’t like to wait for anything. We have fast food, instant coffee, high-speed internet, we want quick service, and we want it now. We are so busy serving our God that we are too busy to receive from God. We need to pay more attention to what Jesus wants to say to us and less attention to what we can do for him. It’s all about GRACE 🙂
Judges 21:25 Common English Bible (CEB)
25 In those days there was no king in Israel; each person did what they thought to be right. Are we doing only what looks to be right for ourselves, that which is right for us, selfishly, right in our own eyes?
I’m taking baby steps toward contemplative practice
I’m a beginner at the contemplation practices. I NEED A LOT OF PRACTICE. I continue to do research on how to lead my own retreats. One day I would like to facilitate a retreats. We always have to remember that our God is not cold and distant, but generous and loving, wanting to share and be part of our lives.
We have to wait on and be still before our God. But sometimes we are too busy serving him, to receive from the all-knowing, all powerful God. Today’s society is not conducive to this type of lifestyle, of being still and knowing God. It is more the not wanting to wait for anything, having fast food, instant coffee, high speed internet, and want quick service and want it now. To begin contemplation is to begin with a change of mindset, a priority that says that you want to approach God, and a heart that desires what the Psalmist says “On you I wait all the day” Psalm 25: 5b “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for Him.” Psalm 37:7. Don’t think of waiting as a waste of time, but patience is the process of elimination of self, and surrendering to God, to become willing to be with God, to still our soul and be at peace, and find our true center and focus for life, which is God. Jesus being the one who makes it possible for us to draw near, and belong to God, accepted, embraced, and welcomed into the family of God. Know God, Love God, be at peace with God, and adore God. For God wants our attention, God is a jealous lover, and desires friendship and quality time, we at times crowd God out, filling our life and giving our time to this or that which has not real lasting value.
Often called guided imagery, can be created for any retreat theme. Guided meditation is best followed by silence and opportunity to write or draw, it is a time to reflect what was experienced to then share in small group of 2 or 3 individuals.
One way of starting is to tackle the whole area of silence, for some this will be a daunting prospect for others a welcome invitation and relief, being given time to be still from the business of life. *Were you silenced as a child, adolescent, as an adult? *Do you silence others today? * Do you use silence to punish others? *When has silence deepened a relationship? *Has group silence been frightening to you? *When do you experience silence as a gift? Write and reflect share in groups of 2 or 3. “The purpose of silence is to open space and discover stillness” “Keeping silence is a practice for the purpose of finding the still point within that allows us to be present in a new way to God and each other” Reimer. The choice to be silent is the recipient’s choice to make. The awful uncomfortable silence can be avoided if choice is given and prior warning that at times silence is required.
Be still and know that I am God Psalm 46: 10
A practice to help the being still process and help with the business of the mind, when you are trying to be still, a lot floods the mind because of the business and activity of our lives we have programmed our self to be active, processing, planning, busy, but just being the human being not doing is difficult.
Be still and know that I am God
Be still and know that I am
Be still and know that I
Be still and know that
Be still and know
Be still and
Repeat this as part of the process of centering yourself on God; this does not just have to be at an organized event. But can be part of your day or before you read the bible or at a stressful point of your day. The peace you experience will create faith in you to face up to whatever you need to face. Rachel Harris believes it is a change of mindset to think of a retreat not as an event but as a daily practice. “The purpose of a daily retreat, then, is to create a sacred time and space in which we can reconnect with the spirit, experience the divine. We take a breath from our everyday lives so that we can once again remember who we really are, breathe the breath of God, hear the song of the sacred, and respond” pg6 20 minute Retreat by Rachel Harris. “In fast paced lives, we desperately need retreats to regain perspective, helping us balance our inner and outer lives” pg 29 Harris “We need the quiet time to commune with the sacred as much as we need to eat and sleep” pg 12 Harris.
Song I like on the same theme by Sidewalk Prophets and Rush of fools. Use these songs as a sacred time with The Lord. Peace.