My daughter came down early this morning. She wanted to snuggle, promptly crawled up in my lap, got comfortable and fell fast asleep. I couldn’t reach my coffee, I couldn’t reach a book- essentially I was trapped.
In the quiet, I began to squirm inwardly. I have so many things to do today! I could be getting those things done. Then I would say to myself, “just be still and enjoy this moment, quit trying to wish it away.” And so it went. I spent that hour and a half wrestling with myself- but truth be told- the silence was unnerving- and having to be still and silent at the same time was almost unbearable.
Why? I don’t know if I would have explored that question if it had not been for the sermon I listened to tonight. It was about silence.
How often do you tell your children to hurry? When people ask you how you are doing what do you say? Ever respond with, “I’m busy”, or “well we are just so busy right now.”
Busyness is worn like a badge of accomplishment in our society. We fill our lives with activities and plans, well, we are all like Martha.
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
Are you worried and upset about many things? Maybe we don’t even know what we are worried or upset about because we don’t sit still long enough to even take inventory of what is truly going on inside of us- and then we stumble into bed exhausted and do it all again the next day.
I wrote a post a while back called Seek Silence. This post was inspired by that same sermon. It affected me so profoundly I decided to listen to it again, and again I felt the Lord’s conviction.
When I am silent and still before God- I feel uncomfortable, helpless, out of control, restless- it is hard for me to focus.
I am fine when I am reading God’s Word or praying, or doing anything else actively in connection with seeking Him. But…when I get quiet- still, truly silent in my spirit-not doing anything else but quietly waiting before Him- I get the squirms.
I want to be still until I can rest like Mary did. I see in myself this desire to control things- even to control God.
I am fumbling around trying to make things happen, trying to assert myself- be organized, be productive, mark everything off today’s list, enslave my soul to be obedient, eliminate sin in my life…and I forget- to simply gaze upon my Savior- to rest and listen at His feet.
How can we slow our lives enough to truly be in tune with where God is leading us? Are we so busy serving that we miss our Savior?
I want to accept the silent challenge- to find time weekly to just be quiet before Him. Even if it is just a walk in the neighborhood in the evening for 30 minutes without a cell phone or MP3 player or I-Pod. To just rest and seek silence before Him.
I need to practice it- to feel comfortable- for it to feel normal. To relate to God with familiarity, pouring out my emotions- my pain, my joys- the cry of my heart. That’s what David did. The Psalms are prayers of passion.
I want to be a woman after God’s own heart. How do we do it? We seek Him. Rest in Him- be silent and wait before Him. Look at Jesus- how often did He steal away to a quiet place to pray and be alone with His Father? How much more, then, do we need to establish that practice?
Can we step off the merry-go-round of busyness and seek our Savior? Are we willing to cut out things, even “good” things, to do what is best? To be with Him, silent before Him?
Almighty God, we praise you for your Word, for the truth that we can find there if we seek You with our whole heart. Reveal to us your eternal Truth. Pierce our hearts Lord, convict us- stir us up within daily- with a desire to know you, to chase hard after you. Lord, in this world of technology and constant stimulation- may we seek to unplug. To come away; to draw near to you. Lord, remind us of how much we need you. We forget as we live in our busyness and self-sufficiency how completely meaningless our strivings are in this life apart from you. They are meaningless, a chase after the wind. May we start to live with purpose- with a vision of the eternal before us. May we begin to feel like strangers in this land- and long in our hearts for eternity with you. Slow us down- may “hurry” become a word we abhor. In Jesus Name and by His power we pray, Amen.