What a day this has been! What a whirlwind week, one more whirling seven-day blur.
I sit now in the stillness of my study at the church, thankful for the quiet—and for a few precious moments of peace. At this moment, I’m glad to be alone for a little while, filling up with the kind of strength and blessing that only comes in the quiet. Surely we can learn something important, something that can genuinely bless us, when we remember that our Lord Jesus, after busy days of teaching and healing and activity often went away by himself to “a solitary place.”
I don’t sit still and just enjoy such quiet peace nearly as often as I should. I’ve often laughed and said that one of the reasons I enjoy preaching and leading worship is that I’d hate to have to sit still during a whole service. Yes, I laugh. But there is more truth in that than I care to admit. Like so much of our society, I rarely sit still, and that’s not only a shame, it’s a fact that hurts us all more than we can imagine.
We live such frantic lives, hardly conscious of the high price we pay for that pace. We’d have to think about it to calculate the price, and to really think requires some time, which is precisely what we don’t seem to have.
We’re so like the man frantically driving down the interstate highway whose wife, the official navigator, wakes from a nap and asks, “Dear, where are we?” To which query the harried helmsman replies, “I don’t know, but we’re making great time!”
It’s a good question.
What direction are we going? It’s important that we know. I wonder if one of the primary reasons so many folks in our society refuse to ever slow down, to ever sit still, to ever be quiet, is that we’re frightened of the thoughts we might think if we just had time to think them—thoughts about our purpose, our direction, our values. I can well understand why many folks in our terminally shallow culture might be frightened of such thoughts, but Christians shouldn’t be.
It’s been anything but quiet this week in my life—and I’d not be surprised if the same thing is true of yours. And don’t misunderstand: I thank God for the strength and health and opportunity to engage in productive activity. But it ceases to be truly productive or worthwhile when it just becomes constant motion.
At this moment, Lord, I thank you for the stillness. Give me your wisdom to avail myself of it more often for only in stillness is true wisdom born. As your Presence hovering over the vast pool of possibility at this world’s dawning brought forth life and beauty, may your Spirit give birth in this stillness to worthwhile and meaningful depth of thought and of being so that when the time comes to speak, to act, our words and our actions carry with them depth of genuine meaning and wisdom and love. The kind only forged in stillness.
Copyright 2012 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.