For the past few weeks our church has been looking at the life of David. We finished this past weekend by examining David’s contemplative life.
For David the contemplative life meant thinking about God on a regular basis; quieting his heart long enough to listen to God’s voice. David often writes in the Psalms that we he would seek God at morning, noon and night.
In 1 Samuel 30, David finds that the Amalekites have carried off his own wives and the wives and children of all of his men. Even in that dire situation, with time running out, David still paused to stop and seek God’s face. He called for the priest and sought out God’s will.
Contemplation is a word that we don’t use very often. But it simply means pausing to give attention to something. When we’re contemplative in our spirituality, we pause and give attention to God. We can do this through silent prayer or by using God’s word in practices like Lectio Divina. Contemplating on God simply allows us to listen to God’s voice as we quiet our own hearts.
I definitely wouldn’t win any awards for contemplative spirituality. I’ve done a little silent prayer and I’ve tried my hand at Lectio Divina. While I’m not great at contemplative disciplines, I have seen their benefit in my life. I love the opportunity to pause, find some silence, and focus on God and his voice. Listening to God through his word or his Spirit always encourages my soul and gives my life more direction.
Unfortunately contemplation doesn’t just happen; our lives are too busy and filled with too much noise. We need to create the space, silence and solitude in our lives in order to fully contemplate God and listen to his voice.
Perhaps you have some time off this Thanksgiving week. Before the holiday season kicks into gear, maybe you can find some time to quiet your mind and soul. You could use that time to simply sit and contemplate on God, listening for his voice and his desires for your life. Finding that opportunity and hearing God’s voice would definitely give you something to be thankful for on Thursday.
What has been your experience, if any, with contemplative practices?