Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sunday Afternoon Tea - The Quest for Quietude

Quietude, which some men cannot abide because it reveals their inward poverty
is as a palace of cedar to the wise,
for along its hallowed courts the King in his beauty designs to walk.
Charles Haddon Spurgeon

noun: quietudea 
1) a state of stillness, calmness,
and quiet in a person or place.

In the midst of the cold rainy days this past week, I read a book* which... after the first few chapters... became impossible to put down.  I will talk about it more in a few days but it is the story of a man who leaves his home on a whim and begins a walk which will take him a very, very long time.

For the first time in his life, he begins to notice the little things around him... the flora and fauna, the aromas, beauty... people.  His world is changed forever as he walks along the highways and byways of England... most of the time alone with his thoughts.

I am an introvert by nature who must have time alone or my soul feels it will wither and die.  There must be time in the morning with just my thoughts and a cup of coffee with cream and Splenda.  At other times in the day... tea with perhaps a cookie or cinnamon toast.

Having said that, you would think I enjoy complete silence but that is seldom the truth.  I like the TV on in the background so there are voices in the house when I am alone.  Even when another is in another part of the house... I like to have some kind of voice whether the television, the radio, or the CD Player.

Alone-ness I like... silence not so much. 

Perhaps that is why I used to enjoy walking trails in the forest or sitting beside Lake Michigan on an old quilt.  For there were usually enough sounds around that I felt fellowship with the birds and the squirrels and the chipmunks and other little critters. 

But they provided a natural background to my world, a symphony of God's creation that encouraged fellowship with the Creator rather than drew one away from thinking of Him... as does the television or radio.

It is why I enjoy sitting at the small table on my deck on early Summer mornings with my Bible and a cup of coffee and perhaps a favorite devotional.  It is why October afternoons will find me on the porch gazing at the blaze of colors showing in the forest and my neighbor's red barn beginning to peek from behind trees which are losing their leaves.

We don't always understand why we do what we do... or don't do what we should.  Reading this book opened my eyes to why I hear God best in nature and do not spend as much time as I should curled up in the cozy chair in my Study reading His Word and chatting with Him.

I have shared this quote by Charlie "Tremendous" Jones before but it is one of my all time favorite Truths.  “You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.”  How true...

The background music to my outside world is conducive to knowing Him.  It does not happen as much with the background noise once I walk through the front door.   I must go on a quest for... quietude.  Not so much inside the house or outside in nature... but in my heart.

Perhaps it is something we all strive for in the cluttered noise of the 21st century.  It is what unplugging is all about.  Not just from the Internet now and then but taking a break from all technological twaddle.  

Now, if you excuse me.  I need to find my Bible and get away for awhile.

* The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry By Rachel Joyce (Amazon Associate's Link)

Image: Reading in the Morning Light


Vee said...

Something hit me reading this...I read the bit about your being an introvert by nature and then you calmly explained your needs. Eureka! I have always thought that my God-given nature is be an introvert is wrong. It makes no sense. I'm just telling what is. I may be able to give up blogging now and become a complete and total hermit. That's not what you meant?

Enjoy your quiet time or not so quiet time...

Bookie said...

What a lovely and soothing post today. It resonates with a lot of "me" in the lines. Happy Sunday from my own deck.

Deb J. in Utah said...

I love this post. I relate to your need to have quietude in your life. I need it as well. When I don't Have a bit of time to read and contemplate, I sure notice a negative difference in my life. Thanks for this great reminder.

Susan said...

I read this wonderful book about the pilgrimage along with Britt-Arnhild when she encouraged her readers to join her - it was an enriching experience.

Judy said...

"The Unlikely Pilgrimage..." is a wonderful read. I truly enjoyed it. I was excited to see you were going to be reading it and look forward to your further reflections on it.

Kim said...

Beautiful post that really resonated with me today. Thank you!

Deborah Montgomery said...

I do love quiet and alone time too. the "noise" in nature is so much different than noise from a TV or radio. It seems to blend in, and not be intrusive. Even without the TV on, and no one around, my thoughts can often crowd out the Lord's voice. Stillness and quietude are hard to get to, but worth it!

Heather LeFebvre said...

So glad you are enjoying the book!!! I have a dream now of walking the West Highland Way in Scotland -- about a week of walking from Glasgow up to Fort William. It's a dream....but maybe someday it will be reality. Many hurdles to overcome, most of all my allergy to the cold!

Deanna Rabe - Creekside Cottage Blog said...

This is the second time today, that the Lord has brought this subject to me. Both from blogging friends. I am going to have to find some solitude, and quiet myself before him.

Thanks for your thoughts on this!


Patsy said...

Today I got the book from our library on my Nook e-reader. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.