(BTW I’m doing this post in Five Minutes, unedited.)
I recently spent over an hour sitting in a room decorated with sparkly lights. We gathered to worship. Yes, there were words projected on the wall, and I’m grateful… so not-entirely a tech-free night. But there I sat. And I knitted.
That’s right, phone aside, and for me the act of knitting is one of the fastest ways to get my head and heart to slow and to simply be present. I sang, I prayed, I waited, I soaked.
And HIS presence came. There were a few phones in use around, here and there… but mostly we had unplugged, and gathered, around one focus. Jesus. I remember a song (we didn’t sing it tonight, but it’s a good one) by Nigel Briggs:
Turn it all down, tune it all out
Just you and me
Away from the crowds, away from the noise,
Is where I wanna be
So if I had my way, I would stop this day
So I could worship you, and keep this world at bay
There I’d stay…
I wanna be right by your side
‘cos you are the light of my life
And all I want to do
is give my life to you
I know some people have dared to do that… they left their phones behind, drove out into some remote place, and deliberately sat, alone, just to feel what it was like. Many have tried it, and simply found it too terrifying. Yes. Terrifying. They say the silence swallowed them up, the thoughts and feeling that they had held at bay by being so busy nearly swallowed them alive. They couldn’t face the demons they found there, in the stillness.
I certainly wouldn’t like to unplug… if I had to face a life alone – truly alone – without the knowledge of Jesus who is with me always and everywhere. But when I find stillness, I don’t find an emptiness. I find a full and free Presence. His presence.
In His presence, I’m never afraid.
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