I tend to get overwhelmed easily by big tasks. Falen has asked me many times while I'm in a panic, "Laura, how do you eat an elephant?" I always reluctantly say "One bite at a time." Fascinated by this elephant concept, I went on a google search to find a cute picture or something to save to remind myself "One bite at a time." I found an Awesome graphic (isn't that graphic too cool~sooo needs to be on a shirt), but where I found it was even better! I came across North Metro Church in Atlanta. Their Pastor, Rob McDowell, is currently doing a sermon series called "How to Eat an Elephant." So I spent my lunch hour on week 1 of the series and I'm very excited to share with our readers!
Pastor McDowell began by identifying the Elephant of Christianity: Transformation into a new creation to be like Jesus. Totally makes sense, right?! As a christian we struggle with sin daily. We struggle with the desire to do good, but sinful flesh holding us back. We struggle with mind warfare. We know that we can't be perfect. Being like Jesus can be an Overwhelming concept...seemingly impossible. So...HOW DO YOU EAT AN ELEPHANT? ONE BITE AT A TIME!
Bite 1: Decide to be Intentional
Bite 2: Silence and Solitute
Solitude is not isolation. Solitude is a "space and a place where we seek His face."
Silence is "seeking quiet from internal and external voices in order to listen to God."
Our culture is addicted to noise. We hate it, but we are addicted to it! There is always Something. Think of how often you check facebook or email. Just think of how often you have your television on but aren't really watching it. I have finally, after 30 years, broken myself of this habit...television is Evil (but that's another blog of it's own). All that noise from technology and then we have real people on top of that...I know my kids sure are Noisy!! How often do you ever sit in silence and listen for His voice? I know for me, it's a rare moment when I can shut out the external noise, let alone internal noise.
Why is silence and solitude important you might ask? God speaks to us in whispers (I Kings 19:11-13) and if we aren't silent we'll never hear His voice. Jesus often went off alone to be in silence and solitude to listen and communicate with God...even on the eve of his crucifixtion he took time out to spend in silence and solitude with God (Matthew 26:36). Here are just a few more instances of Jesus in solitude and silence:
The challenging part of Silence and Solitude is to be intentional about it. The best way I have found to carve out time for Silence and Solitude is my "Snooze Button". For all those who would argue that the snooze button is unhealthy...Tough! My snooze setting is 9 minutes...so when my alarm goes off I hit snooze and I have 9 minutes of Silence and Solitude with God. I have found that this is one of the only times my mind isn't already running in a dozen different directions. I can pray for the day I'm about to begin and thank God for my many blessings with a mind clear of distractions...and I can hear his whispers because the noise of the day has not yet begun...
How can YOU be intentional about Silence and Solitude?
"Elephant...it's what's for dinner." Rob McDowell