Have you noticed that the world around us is trying to abbreviate our lives? We're getting accustomed to thinking in 140-character thoughts and pushing the fast-forward button to get through commercials so our one hour show only takes 35 minutes to watch. We can do our work on the go, thanks to smart phones and wi-fi enabled devices. It's getting to the point that we think something is wrong if we don't have somewhere to go, something to do, or someone to see. Silence is truly becoming deafening.
Yet it's in the silence where we're going to grow the most. The reason is pretty logical. If we're being loud or are surrounded by loudness, we can't hear what we're supposed to. Even better than logic, we're told in Psalm 46:10 to "Be still and know that I am God." That should be enough reason to stop our hectic life and seek Him. Does that sound as terrifying to you as it does to me? Be still? I've never been good at that, just ask my mom. More than once during a homework assignment or an instrumental practice session or any sort of craft project she would have to say "Kristin, stay in your chair." (Even to this day, if I'm getting close to a deadline that she's aware of, she will tell me that.) It's hard, even impossible, to hear God if we're not being still.
Elijah once learned why being still was necessary. In 1 Kings 19, we read the story of him hiding out in a cave on the side of a mountain, licking his wounds after being run out of town by Ahab and Jezebel. God tells Elijah to stand on the side of the mountain before Him. First came a mighty windstorm, then an earthquake, and then a fire, but God was not in any of those amazing displays of His power over nature. Then comes the end of verse 12: "And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance to the cave." (1 Kings 19:12-13, NLT). If Elijah had gotten all excited about the wind, the earthquake or the fire, he'd have missed the gentle whisper. He was already in tune with God to the point that he recognized that God wasn't in those massive displays, but that He was in the gentle whisper. And it was in that whisper where God gave Elijah the next set of instructions for his life.
I am (very, very) slowly learning that silence is not terrifying, and that I don't always have to be busy. I still have much to learn, but I'm starting with those two concepts, and am excited to see where this leads me.
Will you join me on this journey?