Make the quiet times happen

My writing cabin, Pall Mall, Tenn.

This morning, Holly and I had the honor and privilege of listening to South African cattleman and evangelist Angus Buchan speak at World Outreach Church in Murfreesboro.  The main point of his sermon was that, as Christ followers, we should insist on finding daily quiet time to work on our relationship with Jesus.

Angus said that although he devotes portions of each day to this critical quiet time, he also communicates with God through nature as he rides his horse across his farm.

As I listened, I was reminded of how blessed I’ve been in my life to have experienced some incredibly profound and memorable moments of quiet time.  This first I specifically remember were when I was a teenager growing up in the North Carolina mountains.  Fall was my favorite time of year because that’s when squirrel season was in.

Much like a golfer loves golf because of the setting of the sport, I couldn’t wait to get into the woods each day.  I wasn’t the most prolific hunter, but no one could match my enthusiasm for being alone on the mountain.  To reach my preferred hunting area, I had to walk approximately two miles across the base of Phoenix Mountain, usually getting out before sunrise.  I can recall sitting quietly at the edge of a high pasture — not another person, building, or road in sight — and being filled and nearly overcome by what I then suspected was the Holy Spirit.  (Now, I’m sure that’s what it was.)  By eliminating the distractions of modern life and simply focusing on God’s creation, I was able to be more receptive to what He wanted for me.

There have since been other moments like that.  Sitting on the beach of Buck Island just off of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands was one.  Watching meteorites in the brilliant night sky of a Vail, Colo., forest was another, and working on my book in a 180-year-old cabin in Pall Mall, Tenn.  More recently, standing on the giant boulders of Mt. Lemon, near Tucson, Ariz.

And, simply watching the cardinals and chickadees at my backyard bird feeder.

These are the moments that add the color and texture to the work of art that constitutes our lives.  I firmly believe that God has provided these amazing and poignant settings here on Earth so that we can simply get closer to Him, and hear Him more clearly.

Angus reminded me today that I must make more of these quiet moments happen.  It should be a priority.

Consider it done.

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2 Responses to “Make the quiet times happen”

  1. When I was a kid, I spent my summers prowling the creeks and hardwood forests of Southern Illinois. I’d leave in the morning and make it home at dusk. There were no mp3 players along for the ride, and no friends with me, other than a black-and-tan hound.

    Nowhere on Earth have I felt so close to God, or seen such ample evidence of His creation, as on those days, in those quiet woods.

    Been a very long time since I’ve made spiritual journeys anywhere other than church. Silly, now that I think of it, that I haven’t gone looking for God in the place I always found Him.

    Excellent message, Mark. And one I need to heed.

  2. It’s just one of those things we need to be reminded of. It’s crazy how hard it seems to be to find quiet. alone time that doesn’t involve driving a vehicle or using some unmentionable room in the house. That’s why I love the cabin.

    Thanks for the awesome comment, Joe!
    (Check Joe’s writing and photography out at

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