By Michael Gallup
This is perhaps the loveliest yet most difficult of all God’s commands. In it, I hear my Father yearn for me to enjoy Him in the silence, to be a part of the mystery of Easter, to have a relationship with the maker of heaven and earth. Yet despite these benefits, I find myself like so many within my culture, afraid of the silence.
I’m not sure why exactly but I am; maybe my culture has conditioned me this way. We find ways to fill our lives with noise and crowds; we buy ipods so that in between things on our to-do list, we don’t have to suffer the condemnation of silence. We fill every gap in our lives with meaningless chatter: television, cell phones, facebook, texting, twitter, music, and the like. We constantly bombard our minds with noise. Our culture has lost the art of silence and consequently has lost the art of the presence of God. T.S. Elliot notes, “Where shall the world be found, where will the word resound? Not here, there is not enough silence.”
Maybe this conditioning is why I am afraid of the silence or maybe I am simply afraid that I might actually hear God. So instead of preparing an inner sanctuary, I fill my schedule with thing after event after meeting after thing.
I am always telling myself the lie, “I simply don’t have the time to be still.” Right now, I need to focus on these other commandments: don’t judge, don’t be proud, don’t lust, feed the hungry, be holy, be perfect. Yet the Merciful Spark will not let me go; in the background of all of this I hear a small still voice saying, “Be still…” and the voice fades into the darkness and my to-do list lengthens until it rivals Santa’s naughty or nice list in length. There is just too much to do. I don’t have enough time.
Yet right smack dab in the middle of my schedule that is engraved in stone, God with a THUNDEROUS WHISPER says-“be still.” And I am humbly reminded like Elijah that He is not in the fire, He is not in the raging wind, He is not in the earthquake, He is not in the tempest of finals week, He is not in the deadlines, He is not in the burdens of a world that looks on my body of work and demands, “More! Give me more!”
No, He is in the mundane, just underneath the surface, waiting for me cease striving and listen. Yes, He is in the deep silence of the soul crying out for our thirsty hearts to come to the water’s edge and drink.
Michael is a busy person surrounded by grace. He among other things plays the Mandolin poorly. You can read his blog, A Sprig of Hope, by clicking here.