"This experience flung open the door to God.
I was able to ask Him questions and hear His answers."
What happens when 75 women give themselves permission to ponder for thirty minutes?
To intentionally eliminate the noise?
To determinedly push back the regrets and the guilt?
To STOP the busy-ness and set aside the demands of life?
What if they entered stillness – got just a taste – reading Holy Words and listening for the gentle Whisper of the God who called them to “come away” for a few moments of quiet meditation?
That’s exactly what happened at my home church, New Hope Eugene, last week.
Months earlier as I was sharing about leading a “Dare to Be Still” retreat, a young woman bravely interrupted the conversation with a question that took my breath away.
“Clarice, why don’t you give us a taste of stillness, create an appetite, before you ask us to come away for a whole weekend?” Can you picture her hand on her hip as she spoke? It wasn’t there… but it could have been!
A sudden “aha” washed over me. That was it! That was the unknown change I sensed coming after years of taking small groups of ladies away for a two day retreat. Give them a taste first!
Tracy Balzer wrote a book, the title of which compelled me to make the purchase: Permission to Ponder. I’ve taken personal retreats alone with the Lord for nearly 50 years. For seven years I’ve invited others to join me – and this was often the challenge: to motivate women to give themselves “permission” to do nothing more than seek the Lord as they ponder His truth, His grace, His sovereignty, His endless love – and all the rest we learn when we open our Bibles and begin absorbing the simple, but sometimes overwhelming, reality of who God is.
So we called the event “A Taste of Stillness,” and invited ladies to come experience stillness: to learn its value, receive some simple tools, and then spend thirty silent minutes in the sanctuary to dialogue with God – to enter a two-way conversation with the Lord.
And we did exactly what Tracy suggested; we learned “to traverse the distance between noise and silence.”
It’s stunning to experience the power of the Lord in our lives when we simply set ALL else aside and listen. I appreciate one lady’s insight:
“God had a chance to speak without being interrupted. Loved it!”
Stillness can seem to be all about us finding a way to avoid interruption and noise. Hmmm… maybe it’s also about granting God the quiet He needs to share His love without interference. “Be still and know that I am God.”
And we were – and He was!
I wonder what would happen in our small circle of the world if 75 women did this every day? I wonder what would happen if I did?
May just a taste of stillness create an appetite we can’t resist.
TO CONSIDER: How about you? Are you willing to find a quiet place for 30 minutes of listening today – and perhaps again tomorrow?
If you're hungry for more than just a taste, please join us for our upcoming
“Dare to Be Still” retreat on October 20 - 21 in Florence!
REGISTRATION DEADLINE IS OCTOBER 4TH.
Visit my website DareToBeStill.com for more details.
Click Register when you feel His invitation to “Come away.”