“But in the seventh year the land is to have a year of sabbath rest, a sabbath to the LORD. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards.”
Leviticus 25:4 (NIV)
“Your silence may often be misinterpreted, but you will never be misquoted.” (thanks to my friend for this, you know who you are)
We hardly ever find ourselves resting, or silent. There are many articles on silence and meditation, grasping your “inner self” and chasing after nothingness. I do that sometimes. Sit in my prayer closet and try really hard to hear something when there is nothing. We force ourselves to hear when all we want to do is hear what we want to hear. But when we go along with our lives and find moments of stillness, He appears just like that. In an instant; when you are not trying so hard…
In the midst of my sabbath year, I have been quiet, introspective and often times frustrated. My silence has oftentimes been misinterpreted. It is hard to be still when your heart is zealous. I imagine myself going back to Tarsus like the Apostle Paul, learning, with a certain stillness. In the beginning of my sabbath year, I fought it. Not in a wrestle with Jacob sort of way but in a slow and silent sort of rebellion. But caving in on my knees before the Blessed Sacrament, I gave my silent, inner “yes.” And I got quiet. And the land was still.
It seems as if the world stopped spinning so much and my zealous preaching came to an abrupt halt. I found myself a student instead of a teacher, entering into my year with the RCIA program (Rite of Christian Initiation of adults for Catholic converts). And the verses the Lord gave me were loud, as I was not.
“Then Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, and when he found him, he brought him to Antioch. So for a whole year Barnabas and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people. The disciples were called Christians first at Antioch.”
Acts 11:25-26 (NIV)
My demeanor at work grew unwittingly quiet. People began to notice; they thought there may be something wrong. I didn’t know that they noticed because I was too busy going through my inner conversion, hanging onto Jesus, and going into myself. Even the words in the bible were at times too quiet for me. I heard them louder hours and days after I had read them. I stopped trying to understand them. I struggled with reading what I wanted to read and instead yielding to His lot and portion for me for the day. It felt like a convent. I loved it and I hated it. I continue to struggle with it. Even as I read the scripture this morning that he gave me I cried, “I just don’t understand,” but then I did…
Don’t force the silence. Know your season. Don’t let anyone accuse you of not being exactly where you are supposed to be. In faith, remember how He drew you to Himself. Listen to His call. Become obsessed with it. Want nothing more than to know Him, and what He has for you. Hate where you are so He can show you why. Keep asking, don’t ever stop. Don’t call yourself anything you’re not comfortable with. Don’t listen to anyone who can’t understand God’s call on your life. Read Paul’s own words:
“But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being.”
Galatians 1:15-16 (NIV)
We sometimes do not trust our inner voice, the Holy Spirit who lives and breathes in us. We seek refuge in our bibles when He’s knocking on our hearts. There are so many ways He speaks, if we are listening. And sometimes that involves being apart from others, retreating into ourselves and resting.
Be inspired to know you are right where you should be. Seek His presence in the present. You are chasing after the world when your questions don’t first go through Him. He will never deny you His presence.
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me. ” John 15:4 (ESV)