Reflection | The Inner Life - Tuesday, September 10th
The Inner Life
by: Aaron Monts
1 Kings 19.11-12: The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper."
We believe that God is still speaking. That God is not waiting, but rather actively communicating with us every moment of the day through “gentle whispers” of love and care. The “gentle whisper” of the LORD speaks to us all, if we have ears to hear. Cultivating an open heart and a listening ear requires us to silence the voices that ring out around us all day, every day. It requires us to silence both the critics and yes even the fans, tuning our ears to a different frequency. It requires us to weed out the voices around us and tune in to the inner voice of love. To hear differently, to hear deeply the call from the Spirit within.
Too often, however we allow the words of affirmation and of denigration to roll around in our hearts and minds unencumbered, wreaking havoc, destroying the vestiges of our inner self. We find ourselves entangled in countless contradictions of thought and feeling, of idea and identity, and we lose touch. We lose touch with the God who gently whispers words of love and affirmation, words that reveal and amplify our true identity, the truth about ourselves that we are desperate to hear.
We must attend to the inner voice of love and grow less and less dependent on the voices of those who are around us. We must be attentive to the inner voice of love, the gentle whisper of God. But to do so, we must begin by removing the noise.
The writer to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 10.5) encourages us to “take every thought captive,” to grab hold of the words of affirmation and of denigration that roll around in our minds. I’ve heard it said that a way to remove these voices so that we can be more attentive to the inner voice of love, is that as a thought comes into your mind simply imagine yourself wrapping your hand around the thought, holding it for a moment, and then gently setting it down by your side. Take a deep breath and listen again anew to the voice of God who calls out from the deep, “I love you.”
May we step into this practice of listening. Of hearing deep from within, the voice of God who calls out to breathe and bring new life into our being.
Spend a few moments praying this prayer of openness.
Sit comfortably with your feet on the floor and your hands cupped behind your ears as you pray:
Lord, I confess I spend too much time listening to the voices of others. I confess that I am fooled into thinking that I am defined by and find my identity in the words of affirmation or of denigration that come my way. I confess these hands do not reflect how you lived, and how I have experienced you.
Instead, I choose to hold my hands over my heart to guard the inner voice of love, the voice of your Spirit who speaks true life and love into my life. I choose to hear from you today. I choose you. Amen.