come( )back

I know…I know…its been a while. I didn’t think I’d ever miss blogging when I started – but it happened. For starters- my apologies to those that received that rogue email of my notes last time. Somehow I lost the draft I was working on…maybe I’ll rewrite it sometime.

Since we last interacted a ton has happened in our world. NBA championship, summer break, weddings, governmental decisions…life is happening around us – constantly. It does not slow down.

For me – its been an interesting two-month span. I’ve had ups, and I’ve had downs. Good, bad, and all in between – and I’m sure you’ve had the same. Am I reflecting enough? My college entrance application started with a famous Socrates quote:

The unexamined life is not worth living.

image002

Smart guy, Socrates. But what comes after examining? I tried to do some examining recently of my own life (don’t worry, I won’t forcefully pour details on your eyes). I want to share what I learned with you, and remind you that 1thingisneeded.

About 1 month ago I took a 16-hour exam. 16 – that was not a typo. This was examining my knowledge base. What is worse than a standardized test? Nothing right? Nothing, until you take a 16-hour standardized test.

standardized-test

Total time: unbearably long. Dreadful. But, I’m not exactly the ‘fastest’ test taker, so with allotted time for daydreaming, each section felt like it was not long enough. Ugh – the irony was torture. On 1 side you think ‘when is this thing going to end’, and on the other you’re wishing for 5 more minutes to answer the last couple questions in that section.

Running_Out_of_Time

See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the timebecause the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:15-16, NKJV)

I needed to ‘redeem the time’, or else the examination would end. If it ends without answering the questions correctly, I’d have no hope of passing. The pressure to succeed, plus the most draining sit-down session of my life, my mind would still find a way to wander. As it wandered, I’d have to actively ask it to come( )back. It was an action. A re-direction, so my mind would make a comeback. A struggle.

I want to draw your attention to the ( ) between the two words. This simple space, or lack of word, changes a noun to an imperative (a call to action). Sometimes, some silence can be the spark for a call to action. Particularly in our spiritual life.

The entire exam guys and gals, I was struggling with distraction. EVERYTHING crossed my mind: work, church, relationship, party, sport, travel, food. It’s hard to shut these thoughts out. It is not easy to get to silence – even if silence is where successful examination occurs. I had ear plugs in- it was silent. But our minds aren’t accustomed to the lack of noise. Silence is what we need though in our spiritual lives.

Whatever hardship comes upon you, it can be overcome by silence.” (St Poemen – Desert Fathers)

wandering-mind

So an ‘exam’ can be a test, and to ‘examine’ can be a time of reflection. Both need practice to succeed…practice is self-driven.

Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you are disqualified. (2 Corinthians 13:5, NKJV)

I challenge you now while reading to find out your personal comeback. We all need to come( )back, so what is it that I can do to examine myself in the midst of such a distracting world? We need to find our home. We gotta find a way back. How can you tell your mind to come( )back? When and where in your day can you squeeze some self-examination? It gets easier – eventually it gets enjoyable, to where you look forward to examinations like King David:

Examine me, O Lord, and prove me;
Try my mind and my heart.
For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes,
And I have walked in Your truth. (Psalms 26:2-3, NKJV)
It feels really good when an exam is done. You get through it with time, you make it out on the other side – even if you feel like it lasts way longer than you’d like. Our job is to remember that 1thingisneeded – the come( )back.
Daily retreat is huge for our comeback(s). Yes, its plural. If you think you’re not going to leave again, you’re mistaken! It’s in our broken nature to wander…so the comebacks must be every minute of every day. That’s why the church, in her wisdom, has us praying for repentance 7 times a day!
Even the word retreat:

noun
  1. an act of moving back or withdrawing.
It doesn’t mean ‘church convention/camp’ (surprised?). We need to leave our distractions, go back to our home base – uniting with Him. This is where we’ll find silence. This is where we’ll find ourselves with God, like when Elijah heard God in 1 Kings 19.
But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup…For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. (1 Corinthians 11:28 & 31, NKJV)
The Scripture does such an awesome job of encouraging us that 1thingisneeded – examine ourselves in the silence of retreat…
Let us search out and examine our ways,
And turn back to the Lord;
Let us lift our hearts and hands
To God in heaven. (Lamentations 3:40-41, NKJV) 
…and come( )back.
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7 thoughts on “come( )back

  1. Sophia says:

    I think that we all need to find the time to speak to God, I experienced that with silence you have peace and speaking to the lord we need a clear mind,
    with no interruptions. We have the ability to make, those spare minutes. And it’s up to us to choose who comes first in life! If there’s no time then it’s only fair to say organise it!

    Like

  2. monicaboughdady says:

    hey hesychia

    great comeback 🙂

    for anyone reading this ; i found this quite a handy tool when i first started
    http://www.stmarkdc.org/Websites/stmarkdc/images/daily_self-evaluation.pdf

    and as per i will leave you with a Henri quote… or 2 ( he’s big on silence)

    In our chatty world, silence has become a very fearful thing … (Our task is to) gently and carefully convert empty silence into a full silence, anxious silence into a peaceful silence, and the restless silence into a restful silence, so that in this converted silence a real encounter with the loving Father can take place

    “Silence is above all a quality of the heart that can stay with us even in our conversation with others. It is a portable cell that we carry with us wherever we go. From it we speak to those in need and to it we return after our words have born fruit.”

    praying we can always fight to take every thought captive and let Him reveal to us the depths of our hearts!

    For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. – Luke 8:17

    Like

  3. Gina Rushdy says:

    For thus the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, has said, “In repentance and rest you will be saved, In quietness and trust is your strength.” (‭Isaiah‬ ‭30‬:‭15‬)

    > > >

    Liked by 1 person

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