I spent last Saturday at a Quiet Day at St. Stephen’s. Unlike many church “quiet days” I’ve attended, this one actually involved a lot of quiet time! Much needed and appreciated.
The leader started off the morning talking about ‘holy discontent’. What he meant was this: in today’s modern world, stress is at an all-time high, we’re sleeping less (drowsiness behind the wheel now costs more lives than drunk-driving), and since we have so many ‘time-saving devices’ to help us, even more productivity is expected of us than before.
The ‘holy discontent’ within us lets us know we’re spiritually hungry. We are hurry-sick. It’s impossible to pray in a hurry, or love someone in a hurry, or listen in a hurry. We need to carve out time for God and for silence.
And then he told us to go somewhere on the church’s grounds and do nothing.
For 45 minutes.
Can you imagine? OK, so we were allowed to pray, and take a notebook and write down anything that came into our minds while praying, but that was it. He said people are so unaccustomed to being quiet and doing nothing that some people actually have to think of this exercise as a “to-do” item in order to accomplish it!
So I found a place on the lawn, in the sunshine, near the statue of St. Stephen, and lay down on my back. It’s been almost a quarter-century since the last time I stretched out on that grass… amazing how time flies… amazing how clear memories can be in the silence.
With the hymn “May Jesus Christ Be Praised” playing from the carillon of the Methodist church down the street, I wrote down what came to mind. I’ll be sharing that, and other bits from the quiet day, in the next few posts.
In the meantime, has anyone else ever had a quiet day like this one that actually involved quiet time? If so please share some of your experiences here. And if not — what do you think of the presenter’s idea of “holy discontent”?