The other week I had a quiet day at home. Aren’t all your days quiet days at home during lockdown you might be asking? In terms of being at home and not particularly speaking to anyone, yes they are, but I’m talking about taking specific time out to spend with God. There are various books and materials which can be used for quiet days and I chose to use some materials which I’d recently picked up but hadn’t had the opportunity to engage with properly. I don’t want to focus so much on the materials, however, as on what I got from the day.
I began by offering the day to God and, perhaps unsurprisingly, in doing that the day didn’t go down the route I’d intended. As we start to come out of lockdown, lots of questions are being asked about what church will look like, what have we learnt, what might we jettison and what might we do new. My intention was to seek God’s will for my ministry: should I do this or should I do that? As I engaged with the materials I had (a painting and a Bible passage accompanied by a series of questions), I was challenged to look at myself.
By the end of the day, I felt that God had turned things around. It wasn’t about whether I should do X or Y, but rather about two other things: God wanted me to look at the gifts and experiences I have to offer and to take notice of what God is already doing and join in. Those things, of course, bring a different perspective to what I was seeking.
If you’ve been persistently putting something to God and feel that God isn’t answering, take time out to consider whether you’re asking the right questions, whether God isn’t asking you a different question or answering your prayer in a way you haven’t noticed.