Friday, July 9, 2010
(This is the second of three blogs created from a day of hiking in Yosemite.)
For those of you who know me, you know one thing is true, I'm not shy. On every personality test I've ever taken I score off the charts as an extrovert. The tests call me sanguine, to the max. That means I'm a people person. I love being around people, I love to be in front of people, I love being loved by people. That's why my love for hiking puzzles me.
I'm beginning to understand that deep within me lies a burning need to be alone at times. (It has only taken me 53 years to see this.) For as much as I'm an extrovert, there is private introvert that dwells within me. It's that introvert that loves the solitude of hiking in the mountains.
I'm beginning to understand my introvert self needs time alone. It is during the alone times that I think. It is during these thinking times that I most often hear God's Spirit whispering to me. Which amazes me. Because most of the time my extroverted self does the thinking and my extroverted self loves to think in the midst of crowds and noise. I despise libraries - they're too quiet for me to think. I read with the TV on. I even do my sermons in Starbucks. But I think when I hike. It is then that I am alone and quiet. And the Spirit whispers.
When the prophet Elijah was suffering a severe bout of depression, God led this great leader to a mountain cave and spoke to him. God told him to stand at the mouth of the cave, for God was about to pass by. You can check the passage out yourself. It's in I Kings 19. It says there was a great wind, but God was not there. There was a great earthquake, but God was not there. There was a great fire, but God was not there. Three noisy events. And then it says God spoke to Elijah in a whisper.
Communicating through a whisper is a tricky business. It assumes that the listener is being quiet and still enough to hear. So I hike, I think, and I listen. And every now and then, God speaks.
Maybe God's Spirit is whispering to you. "Be still and know that he is God."