To Understand – To Know

Claire Wadsworth

Thus says the Lord:
“Stand by the roads, and look,
and ask for the ancient paths,
where the good way is; and walk in it,
and find rest for your souls ….

Jeremiah 6:16

Recently, I embarked on a transformative journey of silence at a Christian monastery—a wholly novel experience that has indelibly marked my soul. The serenity cultivated within those sacred walls has given me a profound tranquillity, diminishing the grip of stress and permeating my life with a newfound calmness. Even amidst the hustle and bustle of daily affairs, my mind now finds solace, echoing the timeless injunction of Psalm 46:10 to “Be still and know that I am God.” I feel as though I am more alert to details in the day, I am more mindful of nature and colours around me my senses are heightened. I gaze at the beautiful tropical fish, the majestic sea turtle, the tiniest ants, spectacular cumulus clouds and I consider my God who created all these for His pleasure.

Who is this God that He should be mindful of me? The scriptures say that God is Spirit (Spirit circle), love (Love sector) truth (Truth sector) and by Him all things were created, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities (Control sector). It is no wonder that when we invite Him into our Spirit circle and ask Him to take residence (Centre sector) that it affects every sector of our being, His omnipotent presence in every facet of existence. Through moments of profound surrender, such as the week of silent communion, He draws near, establishing Himself as the focal point of our being. In this sacred union, I discovered a deeper understanding of both God and self, relinquishing control of my thoughts, behaviour, and mood to His divine guidance.

The words of Jeremiah 6:16 have resonated deeply within me. Even after more than forty years journeying alongside God, I continue to glean wisdom from its timeless counsel. I daily inch closer towards embracing the age-old pathways, where the rhythm of existence finds its resonance in divine centrality.  In this pursuit, I discover a profound serenity enveloping my soul, a testament to the restorative power of a life firmly anchored in God. In this text the ancient paths refer to faith, devotion, and honour to the one true God of Israel. These pathways, rooted in the gospel of Christ, offer a sanctuary of rest amidst life’s chaos. Matthew 11:28-30 extends a divine invitation to participate in this transformational journey, a journey characterized by an earnest pursuit of spiritual nourishment. For me this state of rest means soaking in Scripture more, listening to Christian messages, podcasts, worship music. In moments of extended travel, instead of subjecting myself to the whims of radio programming, I now manage a personalized worship playlist. This intentional choice enables me to arrive at my destination in a greater state of peace. I try to go somewhere green or blue most days to watch and be mindful of creation and the Creator. I acknowledge that this is only one side of the triangle, me, and God. Yet, this journey is not solitary; it extends an invitation for communal engagement. As I walk along the ancient paths, I find myself more attuned to the needs of others, extending an invitation for them to participate in this journey of transformation. Scripture directs us in greater detail and guidance to God’s workings. It shows us that these ancient paths are still relevant today and are accessible and relevant to all. They are a light to our path (Psalm 119:105).

  • I am wondering when was the last time you spent an hour, a day, a week in silence, no distractions, just listening to your Lord?
  • What does Jeremiah 6:16 speak to you?
  • What does it mean for you to walk in the good way?
  • How do you seek to deepen your understanding and intimacy with God?