If there's one thing I never understood growing up, it was adoration. You mean we're supposed to just sit here for an hour? I'd think every time my CCD class would be required to attend adoration. I'd sit there and count the seconds till it ended, not sure what to do and not even giving it a try. After my forced adoration experiences in CCD, I wrote it off as something not for me and figured I'd never go voluntarily.
Fast forward a few years, and I'm a junior in college. Recently, the chapel in my dorm started holding adoration every Thursday evening, and while at first I assumed I'd never go, I heard other students talking about how much peace it brought them and how close to God they felt after spending just 30 minutes alone with Him in the chapel. I considered going, and when a friend asked me to cover her 30-minute adoration "shift" (students sign up for shifts to ensure somebody is always in the chapel), it was the kick in the butt I needed to go.
Armed with my journal and Bible, I sat towards the front and checked the time: 7:00. I had to stay until at least 7:30. Looking around, I saw other students kneeling, so I did, too. I bowed my head and waited to feel "holy." And waited. And waited.
Frustrated and feeling like I'd been there forever, I checked the time again: 7:03.
Everyone else made adoration look so easy- they say with their eyes closed, seemingly in perfect peace and contentment, while for me, every second seemed to drag. Trying to pass the time, I opened my Bible to a random page, read a verse, then opened my journal to write my thoughts on it.
As I wrote in the Lord's presence, I started to come to new insights, discovering and seeing new insights in Scripture I hadn't ever thought of before. It didn't take long for me to be back on my knees, praying to God and hearing His voice fill me with clarity on all the troubles and stress in my life. After I felt content and fulfilled, I checked the time again: 7:45.
Since then, I've gone to adoration every week. Some nights I find great insights and hear God's voice, other nights it's more like the CCD experiences were I feel awkward and bored, and that's okay. It all depends on what's on my mind and how desperately I need to hear God. That said, I've found bringing my journal, Bible or a devotional helps guide me and get me in the "adoration mood." They're good kick starters for entering into silence with God.
I also like to start by asking God to give me patience and quiet my thoughts. Nowadays, silence isn't really the norm, so the first few moments of adoration feel awkward. The best way to get used to the silence of adoration? Sit with it. If you ask God to sit with you, slowly the awkwardness fades away, adoration goes from the boring thing you're forced to do to the faith-filled experience you choose to go to.