Imagine for a moment you’re one of the disciples sitting around the morning campfire with Christ. The desert breeze is cool and brisk on your cheek. The fire blazes as you sit in a circle on the ground with the others, silently watching the sun rise[IFW1] .
Christ walks over to the fire, lifts the tin coffee pot[IFW2] , and pours a cup of hot java for you.
As he hands you the cup, he smiles. You take a sip, savoring the coffee’s rich aroma.
Then Christ whispers to you and the others, “I’m going to spend some time alone with the Father.” He quietly walks into the hills as you watch the back of his cloak disappear into the solitude.
He seems to be so at peace. He has a calmness, a serenity, that others don’t seem to have. It’s as though he’s aware of another Presence—and you wish you shared his awareness.
As you sit silently with the other disciples, you feel alone, empty. [IFW3] You want to experience that serenity that Jesus has—you want to feel something deeper inside of yourself that you can’t quite name.
After a time, he returns. His face is soft and radiant. “Show us how to connect with the Father like you do,” you ask. “Teach us to pray,” another asks.
And so, he does. Jesus teaches you and the others how to pray—how to sip coffee with the Creator like he does.
That desire to connect with our Authentic Self and with God is a desire the Creator has placed within each of our souls. The desire itself is a gift, although it often feels like an empty longing. And the only way to quench its thirst is to do as Christ did— sipping coffee with the Creator, taking time to be alone, leaving the world and its busyness behind for a while and simply Be.
There are many ways to enter that silent space and sit alone with God in the quiet. Jesus taught his disciples to pray the Lord’s Prayer, which is one way to be with God. But, Jesus seemed to have something more than words to a prayer. He had a special relationship with God, and he wanted his disciples—and all of us—to share in that relationship. When we pray, we talk. When we meditate—or sit quietly—we listen. To fully communicate with God, we need to both talk and listen.
Jesus taught his disciples how to meditate—how to contemplate with God the deeper questions we have so we learn to live into the answers we discover in our heart space.[IFW4]
Our modern world lost the art of meditation as we emerged from the period of the Enlightenment. We moved into our heads and forgot how to connect with our hearts.
But in this postmodern world, the desire for something more continues to burn within us. And many are finding ways of returning to the heart of prayer that Jesus offered his disciples and continues to offer us.
In the next few weeks, I’d like to invite you to experience a number of ways you might enter into that quiet space in your heart. I’ll introduce one practice each week and provide a short two-minute podcast you can listen to as a way to experience it.
You might consider trying the practice offered on a daily basis for a week to see how it fits your style. Find a time and place, preferably the same time each day, where you can enjoy solitude. Pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea, light a candle, and sit for 10-20 minutes.
At the end of the week, ponder how this practice has affected you. Do you think the time you’ve spent sipping coffee with God[IFW5] created a new awareness within you?
We’ll explore these seven over the next weeks:
- I love you prayer
- Embracing suffering with Infinite Love
- Lectio Divina
- The breath prayer
- Centering prayer
- Walking meditation
- Conversation with the Creator.
These ancient practices are tools designed to jumpstart and deepen your connection with God and yourself. As you sit in the quiet, allow yourself to re-create a childlike innocence, a trust, as you open your heart and connect with the deeper wisdom and guidance that God might offer in your time together.
Be still and savor the silence .
To begin this week’s practice, the Love You prayer, click on the link below.
Love You Prayer
—brian j plachta