Corbin Park, Post Falls. Photo by Ron Reeve
The significance of stillness first seeped into my spirit when I was a little girl. The indelible memory created a longing I’ve never escaped.
One of my earliest and most vivid childhood memories occurred when I was five years old. My younger sister and I received a sled for Christmas. Christmas-day temperatures dipped well below freezing, and a hazardous Christmas Eve snowstorm immobilized the small Montana town where my family lived.
My sister and I were anxious to try out our new sled, so Mom bundled us up in snowsuits, warm mittens, heavy socks and boots, no small task for any mama who’s experienced wrestling with wiggly youngsters more concerned about playing than staying warm.
I was ready first. Waiting for my sister, barely able to move encased in that bulky clothing, I lingered alone in our backyard, grasping in my little mittened-hand, the cord tethered to our new sled.
Standing all alone in that snow-blanketed backyard, I was insulated from every sound except silence.
At five years of age, I had no frame of reference for a spiritual encounter. I could never have imagined those few minutes spent on a cold Christmas day might transition over six decades later into a yearlong theme to help guide my soul.
Now, all grown up, living in an era chock-full of distractions, I realize I must be intentional to cultivate the discipline of stillness. The experience of working with a spiritual director has helped me learn to listen to the whisper of God’s voice and has resulted in an inner life that feels grounded and safe.
Why, I ask myself, does this matter? Most importantly, I conclude, it enables me to BE PRESENT to all that matters most.
Psalms 46:10 is a classic verse in scripture beckoning the spirit into stillness. The psalmist wrote, “Be still and know that I am God.” At the dawning of this new decade, I have been meditating on these words, phrase by phrase:
BE STILL and know that I am God!
My egocentric soul at times needs to be reminded God is God, and I am not. Even though tempted to try and figure out what God is up to, my finite understanding cannot grasp fully God’s infinite ways.
BE STILL and know!
As I become more and more self-aware, my mind is receptive to whatever a higher, unseen Power wants me to learn. I need not crumble under criticism nor change directions because someone tells me I ‘should.’
Rather than remaining entangled in pre-conceived notions and long-established patterns of thinking, reacting, arguing and behaving, simply listen to the Spirit’s whisper and surrender to God’s love.
With my entire being—physically, emotionally, relationally, intellectually and spiritually—embrace the Divine mystery. Be present to God, others and myself. Trust God will enable me to love even those with whom I don’t see eye to eye and will guide me in right paths!
My prayer for you today is that you’ll experience the blessing of BEING…