Quiet Space and Prayer : A Need in Leadership (Of course we know this. Don’t we?)
“…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…” Mark 10: 43-45
“Be still, and know that I am God…” Psalm 47: 10a
In 1802 the poet William Wordsworth wrote: “The world is too much with us; late and soon. Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers; …For this, for everything, we are out of tune; It moves us not.”
Do these words strike a chord with you? –“the world is too much with us….and for everything we are out of tune, it moves us not…” –Sometime in our leadership roles in our families, our churches and Presbyterian Women— where we PW’s gladly accepted the role of servant leader—our lives seem to fill up with more stuff to do. We find ourselves rushing from one project to another feeling that it all must be accomplished immediately. Sometimes we feel we are bouncing from one new thing to another. Many times we find ourselves rushing about like the white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, looking at our watches. Well, not a watch. It is probably our I-pads, or whatever electronic gizmos we have come to rely, saying, “I am late, I’m late for a very important date.” Or are we constantly connected by texting? This rushing, this constant “doing” is not necessarily rushing and doing bad things—it is just that it appears to be as the poet says— “that for everything we are out of tune.” Does this feel familiar?
Oh, yes, you and I are here to serve. But to re-energize for leadership in whatever form it takes, we need to give ourselves permission to slow down, and stop our “dithering about schedules” and do as the Psalmist implored: “Be still and know that I am God…” We do this because we know God comes to us in “a still small voice” (1 Kings: 19: 11-13) not in chaos and turbulence. God calls us to quiet places for prayer and meditation. Jesus in his most human form exemplified this by removing himself from the crowds and the disciples to pray to God his Father. In Mark we hear: “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”: and in Matthew 6: 6, Jesus teaches us how to pray: “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father…”
How, you may ask do I slow down? The answer: By taking one moment at a time. Do not make this moment a task. Just make it a moment. Begin simply. Perhaps look out the window at the snow or the winter birds or the people walking by on the sidewalk and say, “Thank you God for this day.” Amen
Slowing our lives down…Being Still…is good for our souls….it is good for relationships with others…it is good for us in our various leadership roles… and above all, it is good for our relationship with God.
Maxine G. Hunter
(This article was inspired by one of the Leadership topics I received from a CT member)
** Published on the February 2016 Lighthouse Newsletter