sitting in silence

21 Feb

How many times does one get real peace and quiet? Sitting here in my kitchen with no one around, and my i-phone nowhere in sight is a great opportunity to get some quiet within. It’s time for that ‘small, still voice” so speak. I spent many years searching for God through prayer and was always disappointed by the fact that the unnaturalness of reading from a pre-written formulaic text produced a pressure to ‘feel spiritual’. It was like ‘Now I’m in spiritual mode, time to open up to Hashem.’ but it never worked. First, there were a million distractions; Secondly, there was that terrible pressure created by the ‘halachic restrictions’ of being unable to talk, move or relate to others while I was praying and thirdly, it destroyed any sense of spontaneity. Now I pray freely,when and where I can. My favourite place is in the car, because that is when I most frequently find I am alone. Praying with others, albeit sincere others is still difficult for me. The last time I went to shul I felt totally strangled by the limitations of rabbinically ordained prayer. I found that going out into the countryside produced something much more genuine.

Ideally our very existence should be a prayer, a constant dialogue with God generated from the quiet within. But the quiet within is not so easy to find.

Last night I conversed with God and was given many insights and directions into how I should proceed in my life. I am hesitant to write “I conversed with God’ because one might suspect that I am suffering from a mental illness with voices in my head! But on the other hand, crazier things are done in the name of religion than simply conversing with God. Last night, the hurricaine of emotions that had been plaguing me all day unrelentingly, demanding “What now? How? When?What if? I’ll never manage! etc” was finally stilled. I had a direction. I had insight. Yes, I’m still walking that tightrope of fear; terrified that I will fall and be swept away by treacherous waters below but God in his mercy continues to reassure me….I have to realise that the tightrope is an illusion – I am being held from Above,

When Jabin king of Hazor heard of this, he sent word to Jobab king of Madon, to the kings of Shimron and Acshaph,and to the northern kings who were in the mountains, in the Arabah south of Kinnereth, in the western foothills and in Naphoth Dor on the west; to the Canaanites in the east and west; to the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites and Jebusites in the hill country; and to the Hivites below Hermon in the region of Mizpah. They came out with all their troops and a large number of horses and chariots–a huge army, as numerous as the sand on the seashore. All these kings joined forces and made camp together. So Joshua and his whole army came against them suddenly at the Waters of Merom and attacked them,there at the Waters of Merom, to fight against Israel. The LORD said to Joshua, “Do not be afraid of them, because by this time tomorrow I will hand all of them over to Israel, slain. You are to hamstring their horses and burn their chariots.”and the LORD gave them into the hand of Israel. They defeated them and pursued them all the way to Greater Sidon, to Misrephoth Maim, and to the Valley of Mizpah on the east, until no survivors were left. Joshua did to them as the LORD had directed: He hamstrung their horses and burned their chariots.

 

Have a beautiful day.

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