[The inspiration for these reflections are adapted from PAUSES FOR LENT: 40 Words for 40 Days, Copyright © 2015 by Rev. Trevor Hudson by Upper Room Books Nashville. Both the selected Scripture and theme and initial paragraph in quotes are from Hudson.]
“Be still, and know that I am God!” Psalm 46:10
“The psalmist emphasizes that we need to be still to know God. Perhaps this is why our souls yearn for stillness. In their restlessness they long for that silent communion with God for which they are created. Aware of this, Desmond Tutu writes, “Each one of us wants and needs to give ourselves space for quiet.” It is in stillness we come to know what our hearts long for: the Divine Presence alive in us. In this way, we can see the importance of fostering a life of outer and inner stillness.“ (Hudson, Kindle edition page 182).
On my way to work this morning all was quiet inside my truck. More often than not I am jumping around on the SiriusXM Radio dial primarily on Christian talk or music stations. But this morning, these were not settling to my spirit so I turned them off. I drove most of the way in silence and found serenity and solitude along the drive. Even now, as I wait for my next meeting, I sit in a quiet space without external noise to distract or detract me from my purpose.
Hudson, in his reflection upon Psalm 46.10, replies that ”the psalmist emphasizes that we need to be still to know God.” Contemplate on that thought for a moment. Think about the ravishing affects of social media on the mind of the young, or the non stop noise throughout most of our days. If what the psalmist says is true, God is being squeezed out by all the sounds. I would not just include audible noise in this example but also the noise of our busyness and workaholic tendencies. We get so focused on working ”for” God that we fail to be ”with” God.
So David writes in Psalm 46.10, ”Be still and know that I am God.” The quietening of our hearts must come first followed by the realization of the knowledge of the divine. God shows up in the silence. He surprises us in the stillness. There’s a reason for Jesus retreating often by himself to pray — because God was present.
What’s preventing us from meeting with God? Is it our noisy/busy lives? How can we quiet our souls and find rest in God? In this season of Lent, why not slow the pace, push pause on the race, and experience his grace this day.
“O Lord God, I find my rest in you. My beating heart remains faithful to your call upon my life. My soul wants to be a flickering flame, ready and steadfast for your work. But I know that like the Jews, I must find Sabbath. I must be still, be quiet and listen to your voice. Come now, Lord God. I listen. Come now, Holy Spirit, I slow my thoughts, my prayers are lifted, my soul settled in you. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen