Monday, November 12, 2007

Finding rhythm

These have been my lessons as of late:

Close your ears. Close your mouth. And listen.

When noise seems to surround me on every side, I start to grow accustomed to it, allowing it to permeate me and become part of who I am. But when I come to the realization that I've allowed this to go on, I cut it off. Turn off the cell phone, the TV, the computer, the radio. I light some candles and sit on my living room floor and just regroup. I talk to God. Journal my thoughts and have a real conversation with Him. I pull out some acryllics and canvas and paint. I try to do whatever makes me focus best. And most of all, I have learned to take time to listen.

Don't get me wrong, I have not arrived by any means. In fact, I'm feeling pretty fed up with myself today, trying to cut the crap and get to where I need to be with God and with my life.

Cherish solitude.

Although community is something I believe to be vital to our existence both as humans and as Christians, there is such value in solitude. Something about solitude reminds me of how small I am, because when I'm alone I tend to look around at the world and remember that I am only a single part of a beautiul tapestry. But I also remember that I belong.


Embrace silence.

Silence used to make me uncomfortable, especially in the company of someone else. But now, I feel like I cannot live without times of silence in each day. Granted I am not a morning person, I greatly enjoy not having to speak for the first hour or so of my day. I can just quietly allow the day to begin and wait for the rest of me to catch up. It works well.

Another value of silence I've found is when an entire room full of people is perfectly quiet together in the presence of God. I've heard people recount stories time and time again of how some of the most potent times of corporate worship they've experience is when everyone and everything was still and quiet. I can tell similar stories, indeed.

Simplify.

I hate clutter, even though my mother may tell you otherwise when I lived under the same roof as them. Either way, at the core, I am something of a minimalist. Although I love decorating and coordinating colors and themes, I don't like to have a lot of unnecessary stuff. I'm not a pack rat. I organize often. Yet, somehow, I allow clutter into my life in the form of distractions.

Media can be a big downfall for me, considering I am a communicator by nature. I love hearing stories as much as I enjoy telling them. I love interacting with others as much as I love watching people interact with each other and with their surroundings. I enjoy watching people go about their time in an airport or at a coffee shop. I'm not easily bored, really. And I very much enjoy a well-scripted and strongly produced TV show.

All this to say, I have to keep myself in check with how much I allow media to be a part of my life. I find nothing wrong with enjoying a good episode of my favorite show or time spent skipping around Facebook. But it really is about balance and priority. It's a battle all of us fight, one way or another.

Don't get comfortable.

I was laying in my bed one night, overwhelmed at how faithful God has been. I feel like I'm finally on my own two feet. His perfect will has been so evident in my life lately (especially when I fight it), and it's undoubtedly taken me by surprise. But as I looked around me that night, I felt God speak to me.

None of this should make you happy. None of this should make feel secure. Only I can do that.

Wow. How true it is when I look at my recent striving for security and my bitter failure at finding it outside His arms. I fall to pieces every time I try to battle it out and find some sort of temporal security blanket. And then I come back to Him, laying the whole mess of me at His feet. He embraces me every time.

And here I am. I know that I am perfectly safe where I belong, even though I have had more than one nay-sayer about my disposition recently. And though it may seem strange (even to me) that I chose to come back to Tulsa when I could have gone almost anywhere, I am thoroughly enjoying this season of my life. I feel like I have grown more into who I am. I'm also learning about parts of me that I never realized existed and about things that make me come alive that I haven't done before. It's beautiful, and I'm grateful. So once again I say...

Here's to the journey.

4 Comments:

Blogger Shawn said...

You know I thought "cherish solitude," "embrace silence," and "simplify" was kind of ironic in such a long, complicated, social kind of way.

8:19 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Hey Shawn.

Come again?

8:50 AM  
Blogger Shawn said...

I was being sarcastic, all three of those thing a contradictive to such a long, extensive in detail post, to a public crowd. I was just being silly.

1:14 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

Got it. I both agree and disagree with you. (Fun stuff!) But that's okay. I won't go into detail. :p

8:36 AM  

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