Have you ever tried to set aside time to pray, only to be interrupted by the noise of the day, or the sounds of busyness around you? Sometimes it is so hard to maintain a quiet walk with God, to know His presence, or simply to pray for the things that are on our heart. In an increasingly busy world, the number of potential distractions are increasing.
We need to find the ability to retreat, to walk away from the business which commands our attention, and find that "quiet time" and "quiet space" where we can spend time in communion with God. There were times when Jesus had to walk away from the crowds pressing in around - genuinely needy people - and retreat for prayer. Even his disciples did not understand the need for that at the time (at least by Acts chapter 7 they've learned....).
But this is not enough. Occasionally (but less often than we'd care to admit) we cannot escape the hustle and bustle. No matter how hard we try, we cannot find the quiet moment. It is here that we need to learn to know God in the midst of the daily routine. Just as Jesus was encountered in the market place, in the streets, in the ordinary events of life, so we too need to learn to encounter him there too.
True spirituality comes not just by retreating from the world to find Jesus, but also by learning to find Jesus in the world, in the every day encounters. We need to develop a prayer life which embraces both aspects of our life. To misquote Muhammed Ali, "God is the God of all things!" - and so we ought to recognise that an encounter with God can occur in any place. But we need to develop a spirituality which helps us to prepare for this.
August 28, 1994
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