I have been thinking a lot lately about contemplative prayer, and the waiting for and finding God within ourselves in silence and stillness. I especially liked what Karen said this morning about David having the ability to hear God, to compose music, and to write psalms because he lived in the quiet and solitude of the fields as he tended his sheep. I am reading a book called Christian Meditation: Contemplative Prayer for a New Generation by Paul Harris who used to be director at the Christian Meditation Centre in London, England. In his book he states "Anthropologists tell us we are cramming twice as much noise and activity into our lives as our ancestors. Our society is geared to activity, productivity, speed, material success and noise." And this was written in 1996, long before the advent of the smartphone! I don't know about you, but among all this noise and activity I sometimes have a hard time hearing myself think never mind hearing God.
As Karen said in her sermon today, God doesn't look at appearances. God doesn't judge us by our material wealth or by how many things we can get done in a day. God looks at the heart. And the heart needs moments of silence and stillness to know itself and to know God. Today, listening to the sermon, I found myself wondering if David found it harder to hear God as he gained power and left his quiet fields and his solitude? Once he'd become king, did he sometimes struggle to find moments of quiet to pray and to speak to God?
We are all vessels for God's grace. Sometimes in the frenzied hurry of everyday life it's easy to forget that and to lose touch with ourselves and with God. But in the quiet and the stillness of our hearts we find Him again.