It’s quiet right now. So very quiet. No music plays. No television shows echo in the background. There is no scrolling Twitter feed in front of me, and no Facebook notifications illuminating my phone. It is exactly the place I need to be right now.
I need this quiet to crush the power of the false positive.
I know better. We all know better. But even greatly seasoned souls can get caught up in the false positive. It happens gently, when we are pouring ourselves into the most wonderful of activities – ministering with all we have to offer, serving others, spending time in rich conversation with those who have the same passions as we do. We run headlong into the beauty of the moment and find ourselves feeling so alive, so safe, so saved. The glow of the light of community reflects brightly on us, and we feel so near to God.
And we confuse the beauty of that sense of nearness with our own need to be truly near Him. We allow the false positive to woo us away from irreplaceable time with the Lord. Time to worship, time to pray, time to listen. Time for Him to redeem us, restore us, remind us once again of just how beloved we really are, so we may pour ourselves into the most wonderful of activities with true power and grace.
And so it is with me as of late. In the beauty of community and ministry and service, I’ve allowed that time – that precious first-thing-in-the-morning time – to be swallowed up. I’ve fallen into the trap I encourage others to be so wary of. I’ve been enticed by the power of the false positive.
And that power is crushed today. In the quiet. In reading and prayer and listening, I find precious time. If you are feeling like me, if you are needing the quiet, know that my prayers are for you to find time too – because I want you to shine so very brightly.
Why is it so important that you are with God and God alone on the mountain top? It’s important because it’s the place in which you can listen to the voice of the One who calls you the beloved. To pray is to listen to the One who calls you “my beloved daughter,” “my beloved son,” “my beloved child.” To pray is to let that voice speak to the centre of your being, to your guts, and let that voice resound in your whole being. ~Henri Nouwen