Quiet Time

Cover for ARAM 2013Onias is a husband and father in the book ARAM who has to face the fact that he might soon die from a terminal illness and when that reality hits him he has to decide what is most important in his life. Why does it often take dreadful illness or some other catastrophe to get us to think and act meaningfully in our own lives? Too often we move from one duty and distraction to another throughout the course of the day without really choosing with purposeful thought what we are doing or how we are living. It would be rather tragic to realize. at the end, that we never really lived our lives, rather we just sort of rambled through them.

But how do we move from merely reacting to thoughtful action? We need time to think. And when do we get time to think? Not when the radio, t.v., computer, or sports/other game is going on in our midst. We need quiet time to think. We need quiet time as much as we need air to breathe, though we can hold our spiritual breath for years it seems. Quiet time, alone with our thoughts, can be very intimidating because often we have difficult memories and concerns which pop into our minds: guilt over things we have done, or not done, grief over old injuries, the loneliness of being misunderstood. There are a lot of reasons to keep busy so that our minds do not dwell on the difficult stuff. But it is the difficult stuff that can bring us to real peace as Onias eventually realized. At some point, we have to face out past and our fears. We also have to take responsibility for our present.

Being alone and listening to the little voice in our head and facing the haunting specters of guilt, grief, and sadness can be our saving grace for even when we are most alone we are never really alone. God is always with us, though we do not always notice Him in the bustle of the day. Facing problems is the first step to solving problems, and though we cannot solve every difficulty, we can always ask for help from the Ultimate Problem Solver. God wants to be with us, to help us and to allow us time to get to know Him before our time here on earth ends. The question is: when will we make that effort? Onias had death staring him in the face before he gave quiet time and deep thought a try.  What will it take for us?

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