Tuesday, July 14, 2009

In the Stillness

The constancy of the message of Christ lives in action. Sometimes that action means sitting still, but it is a productive stillness. A still life submitted to God is very productive indeed. For it is in the quiet and in the stillness that we are able to develop the discipline of listening for his voice. It is in the calm that we learn to recognize that He is speaking, and we may discern when he is telling us to move and when he is telling us to stop moving.

Stillness seems impossible to achieve these days with the constant demands we place on ourselves, not to mention the ones others place on us. I for one don’t want to be seen as lazy or irresponsible, so I keep busy with tasks both important and frivolous. But what is my busyness accomplishing? Honestly, sometimes I just busy myself because it’s really too hard to sit still and be patient. After all there is always something that needs to be done – even if it’s just changing my Facebook status.

The truth is I haven’t cultivated stillness, and therefore it is something akin to cajoling a 3-year-old into eating his vegetables. And what is the big deal anyway? Does every moment of my life need to be laced with purpose? Well, I think every moment does have purpose, but the real question is what purposes or whose purposes am I fulfilling. Sadly, too often I am a self-fulfilling prophecy and my designs reach no further than my own selfishness, but I’d like for that to change.

So again I look to Jesus. Jesus really is amazing! He had the most successful ministry on the planet. People were literally tearing his roof apart to see him, and He says crazy things like let’s leave this place and go on to the next town. And I do only what I see my Father doing. He steers clear of popularity and fame. When a crowd plans to come and make him king (by force) he eludes them and seeks solitude.

Solitude – not to get those things done that he’d been meaning to do, but solitude focused on stillness, listening to God and waiting for direction. How many evenings do I end wondering where my day went? How many mornings do I give more than a simple checkmark to my time with God – God the creator of the universe, God the Lover of my Soul – God the one who holds each life in the balance? Surely he has perfect direction for my day. What am I waiting for?

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