I know someone else already claimed the title, but I reckon I’d be a strong front runner for the very worst missionary. I have much evidence to back up my claim, most of which I couldn’t ever share with you but this one struggle is one that I’m sure most of you can identify with, and so I feel as though I’m probably in good company. I really have a hard time sitting still and alone with my thoughts. Call it what you will – gathering your thoughts, listening to God, meditation, prayer, alone time – for me, it is hard work.
Today, desperately in need of some time to myself and some space to hear God’s voice, I headed to the bush. I walked through the suburbs on the outskirts of town, through some little farms, down into a valley, across a river and then scaled some rocks to find this beautiful, peaceful waterfall and there I sat! Apart from some very curious farmers way over on the hill wondering what the crazy white lady was up to, I was alone. It was a peaceful and completely uninterrupted time without a single distraction… except for those ones inside my head!
That is where my major difficulty lies. I have a really hard time focussing my thoughts. It really is quite amusing or scary – depending on how you look at it. This time I decided to jot down my distracting thoughts. I was thinking maybe it would help to write them down and then get back to listening to God. I don’t know if it really did or not – but I think it has made for an interesting look inside my head.
– I wonder how my friend **** does this solitude thing – she seems to be good at it?
– What would be the best way to walk here?
– I think it’s going to rain.
– I should have brought my sunnies.
– What would I do if I found a dead person?
– How do you treat a body with respect here?
– There’s no phone reception here.
– Could I carry something that heavy?
– If you carried a dead person, would bodily fluids start leaking out?
– When would God even get a chance to talk to me?
– How do I act out my faith in visible ways – routine, sacred space / time?
– Could I climb up to those rocks over there?
– Someone has been cutting down those trees. I wonder who?
– I could blog these thoughts, as part of my quest to connect more deeply with God.
– What would people think?
– Now I’m thinking about my opening sentence.
– I wonder if there are snakes here, or lions. There was a lion near the governor’s house.
– Dirimba!!! That’s what I would shout. That’s the chiyawo word for lion… I think.
– That looks like a cave – I wonder if I could get there.
– Emancipate yourself from mental slavery… thanks Bob!
– Stop taking everything so seriously?
– In the secret, in the quiet place. In the stillness you are there (sung until the end of the chorus, not verse 2, I couldn’t remember the words).
– Spotlight, I found you, I know where you are – The Waifs
– Was finding fun more about distraction than enjoyment / true refreshment – what’s the difference?
– Does Cam get me?
– It is super windy.
A random mish mash of seemingly unrelated thoughts. So much noise to get through – no wonder it’s hard to hear God’s voice. So am I crazy? Or are we all in the same boat? Or just one person – is anyone in this same boat?
After more than two hours sitting on the rock… I think I did hear some things. Maybe that’s just what this part of like looks like – a crazy muddle of thoughts and happenings but God is in the centre of it all. I’ll just keep trying to wade through it all and get to that centre – where perhaps things aren’t spinning quite as quickly.