Anyway, help yourself to some hot chocolate. There should be some filled mugs over there on that stump. (And don't worry--I didn't forget the marshmallows!)
Now, first off I'd like to say that tomorrow should be a fun and busy evening, as I'm hoping to get all of you to participate in a game I have planned! But for tonight, I think some silence might be in order.
Ecclesiastes 3:7b says, "A time to keep silence, and a time to speak." (This comes a while after the first verse of the third chapter, which says, "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.") There are times when something needs to be said, whether that something includes words of comfort, words of encouragement, or words of gratitude. But there are also times when it is better not to say anything at all. This can be in reference to times of grief when someone just needs someone to hear them and let them cry, or it can refer to times when we need to listen to someone's voice other than our own. And how often we forget how much we need to take time to listen to the Someone who matters most--our Lord.
In all honesty, I suppose this is very hypocritical of me to be reminding all of you to do something that I myself neglect so often. But I still would like to share this message for us all. As I've been reminded of in devotionals before, Jesus set the example for us:
"And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone." (Matthew 14:23)
I mentioned during our rafting trip that I had been to a Christian camp called Veritas. At this camp we had time set aside to spend in God's word, in prayer, and/or journaling. This time was called "TAWG"--"Time Alone With God." I'd like to suggest that we have some TAWG right now.
Take some time for silence. Take some time to listen to God. He is so patient and so good to listen to our prayers; how much more may we be willing to listen to what the Lord has to say to us!
"Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil. Be not rash with thy mouth, and let not thine heart be hasty to utter any thing before God: for God is in heaven, and thou upon earth: therefore let thy words be few." (Ecclesiastes 5:1-2)