Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Leave curiosity alone

In my devotional reading this morning I was working through chapter 7 in the Renovare spiritual formation guide 'Connecting With God.' This chapter is on 'Seeking God In Silence.' They begin with a snippet from Thomas A Kempis's 'The Imitation of Christ.' The second sentence was this odd phrase...
Leave curiosity alone.

I found this quite interesting. I think the whole idea of silence and stillness and the like is interesting in and of itself, but I'm not exactly sure what to make of these three words in particular...

At first I was like, Doesn't our creativity come from God? Aren't we to be a seeking lot? But then my mind shifted to the garden... Eve's curiosity. I was soon reminded of so many things that I myself have 'dreamed up'... even in my attempt to draw closer to God, or, worse... to try to grow his church. Ugh.

I actually used to pride myself on my ability to pray for long periods of time; to sit in silence all day every day; to really seek after God. Certainly I am capable of silence. Seeking after God in silence is a little trickier though. I don't know, maybe I am okay in this area. Who knows. I think whether I am or not is not the point.

The exercise for the week was twofold. First, it was to avoid idle conversation and gossip. There are so many things we talk about, that really, what difference does it make? A second exercise was to try to spend 10 minutes a day in silence. No TV, no radio, no phone, no looking out the window... nothing. And especially not listening to those nagging inner voices that tell us to "do this" or "do that," or that we're not good enough. Just sit silent before God.

Eventually we may come to a place - once the chatter in our head has died down - where we can actually listen to what the Spirit speaks. It could be we just fall asleep. That's okay too. It's not about our agenda; it's about placing ourselves before the Creator, and just... being His.

So... I've been thinking about that. I fail miserably quite often. I'm pretty sure God isn't keeping score. I'm not sure why I do.