My life is filled with activity. Toddler groups, cell meetings, visits, planning meetings, holiday club preparation, study, reports and chores (why is the ironing basket never empty?) My life is busy with doing but hopefully not consumed by it. There are quiet times.
We have been looking recently at the spiritual discipline of solitude and one of our soldiers has loaned me Reaching Out by Henri Nouwen. It is a blessing. Here is one quote,
"Without the solitude of heart, the initmacy of friendship, marriage and community life cannot be creative. Without the solitude of heart, our relationships with others easily become needy and greedy, sticky and clinging, dependent and sentimental, expolitative and parasitic, because without the solitud of heart we cannot experience others as different from ourselves but only as people who can be used for the fulfillment of our own, often hidden needs."
And now I have finished Deuteronomy it's Joshua, here we go!
It is a bit ironic that perhaps I am studying solitude on the one hand and the action packed life of Joshua on the other. But maybe its not so ironic after all. Maybe Joshua relfects very well the need to take care of the inner life in the midst of working out a demanding call. He was commissioned to lead the people, defeat his enemies and claim territory for God. I can see some parallels there with Christian leadership.
Yet we actually meet Joshua in chapter 1 of his book having his quiet time with God. God is talking and Joshua is listening. I suppose Joshua 1:9 is one of the more quoted promises of the Bible but if we look back at v 8 we find a warning that success depends upon spending time absorbing the word of God that he had given to Moses.
"Do not let this Book of Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night , so that you may be careful to do everything written in it."
Warren Wiersbe makes this comment, " It wasn't enough for the priests to carry and guard this precious book (the Book of the Law) Joshua had to take time to read it daily and make it part of his inner person by meditating on it. The Hebrew word for "meditate" is "mutter" It was the practice of the Jews to read the scripture aloud and talk about it to themselves and to one another. This explains why God warned Joshua that the Book of the Law was not to depart from his mouth."
I think I'm going to love doing Joshua almost as much as Deuteronomy!