Awaken from deep rest: Jesus brings quiet stillness to the storm around him. How is it that he could be undisturbed by the raging storm? He invites us to live in that place of shalom with him. Yet how do we arrive there? What habits and rhythms help us be still and quiet with God? Spiritual disciplines such as prayer, silence, solitude, Sabbath and practicing living in the presence of God over time can be deeply transformative. A spiritual companion or director may aid us in growing in these practices. Often it is our fears which keep us running from the quiet and still place in our heart. We are afraid of what we might feel or hear. Like a tender, safe parent, God longs to draw us close and heal our fears so that we can dwell with God in a place of shalom - peaceful, contented, whole and well - both inwardly and outwardly.

Can you hear your Abba, gently drawing you close and whispering tender, comforting words into your soul? shhh...shhh...shhh...lean in to listen...

Mark 4:35-41 NIV
That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.” 36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him. 37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped. 38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
41 They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

For Reflection and Prayer:
Was there a word, phrase, or image which shimmered for you as you listened to the passage? Have a conversation with Jesus about what stirred in you.
Place yourself in the story. How is it intersecting with your life right now?
What helps you arrive at or return to an inward, quiet, still place with Jesus?

Why Are You Here?

The time that Jesus spent in solitude and prayer seems to be connected to how anchored he was in knowing his purpose and why he came. He was unaffected by the cries that "everyone is looking for you." He remained undeterred from what he knew he was to be about. 

It is when we spend time alone with God, connecting and conversing, that we remain on point with why we are here. This kind of time with God anchors and centers us. God speaks, ministers to us, loves on us, comforts, befriends, strengthens, renews and refreshes us. 

Would you consider making this kind of time with God a primary intention for your life and growth? This is how we reenter the world steeped in the awareness of being as Christ, God-centered,  in our everyday encounters.

MARK 1:35-39
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him and when they found him, they exclaimed: "Everyone is looking for you!"

Jesus replied, "Let us go somewhere else--to the nearby villages--so I can preach there also. That is why I have come." So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.

For Reflection and Prayer:
Lord, what are you pointing at for me in this passage?

How is my heart being spoken to at this moment?

Where might this word intersect with my life right now?