Be still and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10)
I frequently enjoy an early-morning jog to start my day. During summers in Colorado, that time of day is often the only time when I can be outdoors without the intense hot sun beating down on me. Cars and other people only occasionally pass me by, and I can listen to the sounds of my neighborhood waking up as the dawn breaks. Sometimes I use this time and atmosphere to pray, but I am never surprised when I reach home again and realize that my thoughts were on everything except my intended conversation with God.
I suppose every minister has preached it, and every Christian has believed it: we must have our “quiet time” with God. Why is it so difficult? Living with noise and activity has become a way of life for many of us. Truly, we even seek or create much of the dreaded noise we want to escape. I admit I am among the many who have complained that I just can’t seem to get in touch with God, and I’ve asked Him to be bigger and noisier than everything else around me. It hasn’t worked. I can learn a lesson from Elijah, and wait for the quiet whisper of the Lord (1 Kings 19:12), but I still want God to keep up with me rather than slow down myself. Even when I want to slow down, living in seemingly perpetual whitewater prevents me from being still and calm.
I am imagining that when the psalmist was still, everything else was still also. No radios, no traffic, no hum of a million volts of electricity, just the sounds of the world as God created it. Sounds wonderful? That’s why ministers preach it and Christians want it. Somehow, in some way, we must take the time to be with and listen to our God. It is only through Him and with Him that we will ever experience healing and peace.
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