I could never understand why it was called ‘Quiet Time.’ In my experience it wasn’t. It was all very busy and full of activity. At the very least it had to include a Bible reading and study, self-examination and confession, thanksgiving, praise, and the intercession list. It was more like a spiritual business meeting…But wasn’t there supposed to be quietness somewhere in it? where was the time to learn to be silent, to set aside all the activity and concerns and be open to God?
-David Runcorn, A Center of Quiet, p. 10
It’s always exciting to see what the first book of the new year will be, and in 2016 my first book was A Center of Quiet by David Runcorn. This book was recommended to me by my grandmother, since she knew how much I enjoyed Madeleine L’Engle’s similar book A Circle of Quiet.
From the very beginning, I think I enjoyed Runcorn’s book even more than L’Engle’s. A Circle of Quiet focuses on silence and solitude as a way to harness creativity, but Runcorn’s book focuses on silence and solitude a spiritual discipline. The quote I’ve listed above really struck me as important–especially when I reevaluate my goals for 2016. They include a Bible reading plan, a devotional, and other “activities” that are meant to be part of my quiet time. After reading Runcorn’s book I’ve decided that maybe it’s okay if some of those activities go undone once in a while so I can focus on silence.
Runcorn acknowledges that these concepts are often foreign to us, so he offers practical suggestions for reflection and silence. I found these suggestions very helpful, and I’m in the process of copying them out so that I can have them handy whenever I need them.
If you’re like me, 2016 is already beginning to feel busy and stressful. I’m excited to go into the year with a plan to finding an inner center of quiet when everything else seems crazy.