Do you think Elijah really wanted to leave the security of that cave and go anoint some others? I don’t. I’m betting he was hoping God would show up and tell him, “Good Job, Elijah! Way to go! You’re hiding in this cave. Just stay here, I’ll take care of you and we can hang out awhile.”
Finding personal/prayerful/quiet time is hard because you’re with all your doubts and honesty of yourself and you’re sharing all that with God. As if she didn’t already know that about you and love you anyway. Pishaw.
Skype guest, Bishop Yvette Flunder told a story about her grandson running around crazy at her house and then eventually laid down in the hallway and proclaimed, “I don’t know what else to do.” So she said “Well just lay there and be still until you know what to do next.”
Bishop Flunder gave her grandson permission to just lay still. When my kids tornado through my house and then claim their bored, not being God and all, I’m quick to suggest they clean up the trail of destruction they’ve left behind. But maybe, just maybe it’s a better idea to suggest that they just be still for a while and when they figure out what to do next, they can do it. Maybe then God will speak to them and tell them to clean their mess up.
As a culture, we run ourselves ragged. I have five synced calendars in my iPhone. If that’s not enough, we have a kitchen calendar on the wall, and a portable calendar I carry in my purse, right next to my iPhone. Alerts are abounding of the day’s events. I don’t known if I’m coming or going most days. I wonder if I called in to work tomorrow and said “I’m just going to lay here til I know what to do next?”
My new pet peeve is when someone tells me how busy they are. You don’t have to convince me of that. And if you are so busy, perhaps that’s your own fault. I lecture myself about it every day. So, my new fun thing to do is to acknowledge that I’m not that busy at all. I pride myself in it.
Although, yesterday, I was trying to convince my daughter who’d just had 4 teeth pulled that we should go get our jammies on (it was 3:00p.m.) and just chill out. I would make that sacrifice for her. She wasn’t buying it, and there was household stuff to be done. So, chilling out never happened.
We need to give ourselves permission to be still and quiet with ourselves. We need to enable our spouses and partners to find that “steal away to Jesus” as Bishop Flunder mentioned. We need to make an appointment on the calendars. Dr. Elnes, referring to the story of Elijah, called it finding our cave – a place and time to retreat and pray. Sadly, I admit, I have no cave. I’m not sure which is more of a fear: going to be still and quiet with all of my fears and doubts right there in front of God (as if she doesn’t already know), or sacrificing the time and usual welcomed distractions to do so. Or maybe it’s what God will tell me to do that will freak me out.
So, first I’ve got to schedule on my calendars for time in my cave. Then I’ve got to find a cave. Then I’ve got to figure out how to be still.
I appreciate the story of Elijah in the cave because God tells him to go out and do. There’s always available time for prayer and time for putting prayer into action.