Silence and Solitude for those in High School

In an airport you can miss the important stuff, like gate changes, flight delays, and general boarding and security info.  You can pack, prep, even go, and be in the process of the most amazing adventure and yet if you are not listening you can miss it.

The same with God.  You can be around church, hang at youth group, do all the stuff to fit in and miss it.  You have to make the connection.

And it can be tough to do when like an airport life is full of noise.  It’s so loud.  Try talking on FaceTime with all those loud announcements blaring.  Even more difficult is sleeping in the airport! Silence and Solitude offer you a way to connect to God for both insight and rest.  And yes I have spent the night in an airport and it is nearly impossible.   We all need attentiveness or a navigator to make travel easy.  God offers us that for life.  Get with God.  He has wisdom you need.  You know the song- “You GOT what I NEED”. (commence group singing)

Jesus comes to you like Gandalf a fictional character in The Lord of the Rings seeks out Bilbo Baggins.  Gandalf is a wizard, member of the Istari order, as well as leader of the Fellowship of the Ring and the army of the West.   Gandalf invites Bilbo on an adventure and if you watch the movie you see it starts with a meal at Bilbo’s table.  For some of you solitude may be over breakfast with God.  One of the quotes I really appreciate from Gandalf is “For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

We need the wisdom God offers, even if we have a few things figured out.

The key to this wisdom is listening.  It won’t do us any good if we aren’t actually listening.  This is where silence and solitude come in.  You have to quiet the volume on life, step away from the loud speakers and really listen to God.  Mountain bike “Chest Pains” with God.  Hike the Pacific Coast Trail with God.

The choice to listen matters.  It matters about as much as applying sunscreen in the Florida heat.  It’s up to you though you have a choice to listen and skip the sunburns of life or fry to a crisp- lobster like swollen and unable to move without pain.  And yes weeks later I’m still peeling.

A simple task which if you are listening saves your daily life from unnecessary pain.  The words of God are like sunscreen.  Proverbs is like general SPF 30.  Read it and apply it.

Tonight let’s apply the words Jesus spoke to John when John was on an island in Greece called Patmos.

Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. Revelation 3:20 

Jesus stands at the door and knocks.  He is sliding into your DM with a, “hey what’s up you free today.”  He is pretty much just about eating together.  And if you are eating you are quiet your mouth is full right?  You are chewing and tasting and in general not on your phone.  You are having a meal with God.  This is solitude and silence.  You can eat in 5 min and it is still enough fuel for your day.  Connect to God like your stomach wants Taco Bell at lunch.  That is what church should do, just make you hungry for your own close relationship with God.

Challenge yourself to step away from the distractions on a routine basis.  Put aside your phone maybe it’s while you shower for the day.  While you are there preparing to smell good and all that -spend time talking to God about your day.  Try reading a Proverb over breakfast, or lunch, or dinner.  Grab a moment with God over food.  When you can associate being with God like your need for eating it helps you stay consistent.  And as you realize this is working, just like the sunscreen works and you have a great tan instead of peeling skin you want more of GOD.  AND THIS IS WHERE IT GETS GOOD.  Jesus said the measure that you are listening is the measure you will hear.  It’s that simple.  You want God then spend sometime listening to God.

There is a powerful story about the first time I tried listening to God.  My life was pretty off balance I was 16 and pregnant and it was only by grace that I heard God that day.  The story ended with my older brother in rehab and his life massively changed.  If you were at Journey you heard it, and if not let’s have coffee and I’d be happy to share it with you.  I encourage you step away from the noise and “get with God”.

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Questions for Journey

Do you recharge or gain energy from people or from solitude?

What is your capacity for downtime with God?

1. I need to make plans every day.  So basically I’m socially wired.

2. I am rarely ever alone. Um have you seen the size of my family?

3. I’ve got solitude down.

4. My school and sports schedule wears me out so I’m too exhausted to spend time with God.

5. I do it, but it’s definitely not a habit. Ya know 5 min in my day when I think of it.

Share with your group a past experience you have had with where you spent time with God.  Where was it? What made you do it? What did you think of the experience?

 

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