Good afternoon! Thank you for signing up to receive the Lenten Devotionals this year! We hope that these devotionals, written by TCU students, faculty, and staff, will serve as a helpful and meditative guide for you during your Lenten Journey. I’ll be sending them out every Tuesday and Thursday from now until Easter, so be sure to look for them in your inbox!
Today’s devotional was written by our own Allison Lanza. As many of you know, Allison joined the Religious & Spiritual Life team last semester, where she serves as Associate Chaplain. Originally from Fort Worth, she was eager to return home and begin work at TCU. If you’ve ever encountered Allison you have undoubtedly experienced warmth and compassion in its purest form – that’s just who she is. She is eager to know you, to hear your story, and to help you in any way she can. Her desire to know you and serve you is second only to her deep desire to know and serve God. She is not only a trusted colleague, but a dear friend as well. If you haven’t gotten to know her yet… put it at (or near) the top of your to-do list. She’s that amazing! I promise. J I hope that you will find her words for you today to be thoughtful and challenging. I believe they will serve you well as you enter into this holy and sacred time.
Find the Quiet Place
Read Mark 1:32-39
In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. (Mark 1: 35 New Revised Standard Version)
Can you hear it? The phone is buzzing with texts. You keep hearing the beep of new emails. The TV is blaring. Twitter and Facebook and Netflix and Buzzfeed all have more for you to read and watch. The papers and tests and paperwork keep coming due. The phone is ringing with someone else who needs you. You get in the car and the horns are blasting while the radio is filled with endless chatter. You go to lunch and the restaurant is so loud you can’t hear the person across the table. You can barely hear yourself think.
Slow down. Breathe.
With the internet, 24 hour news and phones that rarely leave our side we have the option of being surrounded by noise 24/7. Many of us choose this option. We constantly consume the noise of the world. We are overwhelmed.
We long for silence.
Jesus was surrounded by noise too. The crowds are constantly calling out to him. In this scripture from Mark, it says that at sundown the whole city was gathered at Jesus’ door needing him. The next morning, Jesus wakes up early to find some quiet. While it is still very dark he gets up and goes to a deserted place. There he sits in the quiet and prays. The quiet doesn’t last long. Soon the disciples find him and tell him “Everyone is searching for you!” Jesus enters the world of noise again. He spends the rest of the day healing, loving, and proclaiming the good news of God. I would venture to guess that it was those moments of quiet with God that gave Jesus the strength to enter the noise again.
Many of us think that we are just too busy to take a moment to rest in quiet with God. But, if Jesus can make the time, I think we can to. Quiet time with God can be like that morning cup of coffee. The quiet moments give us the strength and wisdom to face the day. It is in the quiet times, that we are re-filled. It is in the quiet times that we remember our purpose. It is in the quiet times that we are still enough to hear the still small voice of God whispering to us.
This Lenten season, I invite you to turn off the noise of the world for a while and spend some time with God. Maybe it will be early in the morning, maybe it’s a whole day of silence, maybe its 5 minutes mid-afternoon with your eyes closed breathing in the stillness of God. Let the stillness with God give you the strength you need to be the person God has called you to be in this world.
Prayer: Holy One, help us each day this Lent to sit for a while in the quiet with you so that we might once again hear your still small voice speaking love to us and to our world. Amen.