One of the places of attentiveness in my own journey with Christ in recent years has been the cultivating of holy rhythms. I’ve sensed God guiding me to certain holy habits in my daily, weekly, monthly and annual schedule. For example, I’ve been using Norm Shawchuck and Reuben Jobs’ A Guide to Prayer as a resource for my daily morning prayer. Once a month, I seek to set aside a day for solitude, silence and listening prayer at a retreat center or other quiet location.
Below is a quotation from E. Glenn Hinson sharing his own holy rhythms. I thought some of you might find it interesting…and maybe even helpful in your own journey with Christ.
“Much as we may wish it, however, my own experience convinces me that we will not sustain the level of attentiveness Brother Lawrence and Thomas Kelly speak of without times of retreat for solitude and silence. Solitude permits us to get away from those many things that vie for our attention—jangling noise and blaring lights—and silence sensitizes. Just as Jesus drew back at critical moments in his ministry, so also should we. Recently I have been thinking of four kinds of retreats that would help us practice the presence of God.
One is a daily retreat. For me that has consisted of a three-mile walk each morning. I cannot tell you exactly what happens during that walk. Sometimes I just walk. At other times I meditate on a passage of Scripture. At other times I pray for someone. But I can tell you the outcome: I am collected. I am present where I am. Some people do the Centering Prayer developed by Thomas Merton. Father Thomas Keating, a Trappist monk who teaches it, says to find a quiet place for twenty minutes twice a day and just show up. Douglas Steere began each day with thirty minutes of silence.
At least once a month, we need an all-day retreat. We do not have to do that in a retreat center. Go to the mountains. Go to the sea. Find solitude and spare some time for God. A couple of times a year, we need longer retreats of thirty-six to forty-eight hours. Finally, we need sabbaticals. Our culture has reached a stage where sabbaticals should not be for professors only. Mothers need them. Doctors, lawyers, and ministers need them. People in all walks of life need them. The world needs them.” (E. Glenn Hinson. “At Eternity’s Converging Point.” Weavings. May/June 2002, p. 26-27.)
For more information about Weavings, “a quarterly publication that promotes a pattern of faithful living marked by prayer, community, and engagement,” visit their page on the Upper Room Ministries website.