Summary: Many times, we get no further than the doorway, and when we get further, we do nothing in the hallway. God is calling on us to quit standing in the doorway and stop doing nothing in the hallway. Our transformation occurs in the hallway. Transition!
As I attempted, throughout the week, to begin practicing the Spiritual Discipline of Silence, I found it very difficult; I failed more than I succeeded. On each occasion, I found myself choosing to remain in the "on the go" lifestyle that has become so familiar to me. I found myself planning to commit to practicing it, but ended up, completing another task, whether it be homework, church work, or responding to others via church work or otherwise.
What I did realize, in my attempt, is three-fold: 1) Habits are hard to break; 2) With each try, I got closer to starting; and, 3) I have to be intentional and unrelenting in my commitment to "practice." What brought me success (and success is defined, in this case, by actually starting) was I, intentionally, without provocation, picked up my phone for my online Bible, grabbed a pen, grabbed my reflection book, picked up my keys, and left the house. I knew I wouldn't be able to find silence in my home, even though I was the only one there, so I went to my car. On my way to the car, I prayed a preparation prayer to begin the connection process.
When I first started to "practice" this discipline, I, after about 5 minutes, was about to quit, but I didn't, and I am glad I didn't. As I continued, I noticed that I didn't experience my mind running, but I did notice that I wanted to get distracted. I quelled that feeling very quickly. Immediately after, I found myself focused on aspects outside of the car. The first thing I saw was the lights shining from my apartment, and began to, almost involuntarily, praise and thank God for having an apartment that I've lived in for 10 years. I noticed the lights on, and instead of wondering why I left them on, I began to thank God for allowing me to have lights despite bringing very little money in in comparison to the past. The thanks continued and emotions of thanks and joy began to well up in my eyes.
After the moments of thanks, I began to feel God's presence, as He directed me to the light over the entrance of my apartment building. The light almost put me in a trance, and then, it began to transform. I noticed something I had never noticed before. The lights, shining on the wall it was connected to, and the shadows it made were revelatory. The view was one of a hallway, shining brightly, with the glow coming from the light source, that allowed for sight. It was revealed that this was a depiction of transition and that the path was towards the light, which was God, and His Word. The revelation led me to a myriad of verses (Psalms 119:105, Isaiah 22:22, 2 Kings 4:14-16, 2 Kings 4:21, 2 Kings 8:5-6, and Zechariah 4:10). There were answers revealed in the silence. For me, this reveal was the evidence that the development of the Spiritual Disciplines are needed in my life.
What God was talking about, by showing me the “hallway” was that the hallway represents transition, that His Word is the only way to light the path through that transition, and that the hallway is where transformation occurs. You can’t transform in the place you were and you can’t transform where you are going. You have to do the transforming in the hallway.
When we look at a hallway, we often find that there are doorways that lead into the hallways and doorways that lead us out of the hallway.
In 2 Kings 4:14-16 of the NIV, it states,
14 “What can be done for her?” Elisha asked.
Gehazi said, “She has no son, and her husband is old.”
15 Then Elisha said, “Call her.” So he called her, and she stood in the doorway.
16 “About this time next year,” Elisha said, “you will hold a son in your arms.”
“No, my lord!” she objected. “Please, man of God, don’t mislead your servant!”
In 2 Kings, it has the Prophet Elisha visiting with a “well-to-do” woman who would provide boarding for him. She didn’t just offer it; she urged it upon him and his servants. This woman would provide him with food and a room. This occurred every time he came. By the way, it was written, she provided him this from the kindness of her heart, free of charge.
On one of the occasions, Elisha called upon her to see how he could repay her. He found that she had no son and her husband was old. Then, he prophesied that she would have a son.
What’s significant about this is two-fold:
1) When a prophet of God prophesies, God will back up that claim, even if the claim seems to be unbelievable. A prophet of God is granted a unique authority. That authority, when remaining in God’s will, will activate things that are deemed the impossible. These impossible declarations, and the ability for them the come to fruition, are unique to the prophet. That uniqueness is because God expects the prophet to declare His Words and His Will so He makes sure to set them above the rest.