Quiet Moments, that’s how I’m spending most of my time these days. In silence, solitude, and careful contemplation…in awe of God, his mighty hand, his great work, his holy Word, the way that he lavishes his love on unworthy sinners like me. I do not take it for granted.
In quiet moments, I think about the world today. Henri Nouwen wrote, “As we reflect on the increasing poverty and hunger, the rapidly spreading hatred and violence within as well as between countries, and the fighting buildup of nuclear weapons systems, we come to realize that our world has embarked on a suicidal journey.” Those are words that he wrote 30 years ago and we are far worse off now. As Christians, we understand that the wages of sin is death, and it seems that reality of death is imminent. It sparks fear and folks are looking for answers to escape from the uncertainties of this life and a pending death. We have the answer but do we live like it?
In quiet moments, I reflect on the nature of today’s American church. I heard a pastor speak at a conference on last evening and he described the current condition of the church as one of apathy and a lack of thanksgiving. Looking around at all of the areas where Christians allow themselves to be defeated by the enemy, I would also say that the condition of the church is also one of helplessness and defeat. Going through David Platt’s book Radical reveals that the condition of the current church is one of self obsession, blindness, and idol worship. Is this the church that Christ is coming back for?
And so I return to my quiet moments, the place where I pray, praise, worship, study, and wrestle with God. In the quiet moments is where God can be found and when he speaks, you can hear him clearly. In the quiet moments God provides answers to deliver us from our suicidal journeys. Only then can we step out under the power of his Holy Spirit to stand against the evil one. Only then can we win our daily battles.
Nouwen reminds us that, “Solitude, silence, and prayer allow us to save ourselves and others from the shipwreck of our self-destructive society. The temptation is to go mad with those who are mad and to go around yelling and screaming, telling everyone where to go, what to do, and how to behave. The temptation is to become so involved in the agonies and ecstasies of the last days that we will drown together with those we are trying to save.”
This is the temptation that needs escaping, this is the distraction of leading busy yet unproductive lives, this is the trick of the enemy. If we want to see an awakening in our personal lives, local churches, neighborhoods, schools, communities, our country, and the world, we must begin with God.
Are you awake?
© Natasha S. Robinson 2011