During the holiday weeks, I’m taking some extra time to enjoy my family and create new memories. Today and next Thursday, I’ll be re-posting some of my favorite blogs from 2013. I hope you and your family had a restful, renewing and just plain fun Christmas. And I hope as well, that God will use the next few days to help prepare you for the moments that await you in 2014.
Originally Posted July 11, 2013
I have always sought after times of extended quiet. In fact one of the themes of my life has been this longing for times to dream, listen, process and just shut off the noise. It started when I was really young and would wonder back to the pasture behind our house and think about the places I wanted to go and the things I wanted to do. There is often peace in this quiet, but I have learned not to seek the quiet for safety; for me, dangerous things often happen in the quiet.
Several winters ago a major blizzard hit on Christmas Eve. For a few days we were completely isolated. It took a major winter storm to force me into a needed change of pace. The quiet mornings gave me space to reflect on the previous months. It had been a rough year. I was at a point of transition and had been through a season of fatigue, boredom and restlessness that was the making for a perfect storm.
In that forced, desperately needed quite, God reminded me of the unique and sometimes difficult ways He had broken through and revealed himself to me .
If not for that time in the quiet, I would have been in real trouble. God took me through some minefields where I experienced brokenness and personal searching. He brought me to a point where I was willing to give up a dream for a new ministry to young leaders that had been on my heart for years. I was ready to step away from all of it.
Then my phone rang.
It was a random call asking me to go to Ecuador to speak at a leadership conference. The topic? What it looks like for a leader to stay the course and finish well. At that moment I could not have felt less qualified, but thanks to the prodding of a wife and a sense from God that I could not bury, I went.
In the quiet on a mountain above Quito, Ecuador, God began to renew my dream of investing in emerging leaders. He stirred awake longings and fueled my hope. He also reminded me there would be costs: being on the front lines of spiritual warfare, fundraising, relational and professional risks.
The blizzard raged on, but in those cold, isolating winds I felt some renewal in my passion to pursue Him again in the quiet and solitude. Through the years it has always been worth the fight to get these times alone with God. This time it just needed to be forced on me.
I believe the same is true for you as well. You can find renewal, and likely some dangerous adventure if you practice seeking Him in extended times of quiet. It is for sure worth the fight!