“Be still and know, that I am God…” Psalm 46:10
It’s quoted so often that I’m not sure we get it. The whole be still thing. What does that mean to you? Be still.
The noun is defined as “deep silence and calm; stillness.
“the still of the night”
synonyms: quietness, quiet, quietude, silence, stillness, hush, soundlessness;”
The adjective – “not moving or making a sound.
“the still body of the young man”
synonyms: motionless, unmoving, not moving a muscle, stock-still, immobile, inanimate, like a statue, as if turned to stone, rooted to the spot, transfixed, static, stationary.”
Be still. Turn off the noise. Can you?
Growing up, I had music playing 24/7. When I wasn’t listening to the latest Bee Gee’s album, I was watching General Hospital or Young and the Restless. Or I was talking on the phone. No, we didn’t have cell phones and we didn’t text. I still don’t. But my life was noisy. I was an only child, so perhaps this was my defense, surrounding myself with all this stuff, stuff of the world, stuff that seemed so exciting and important to my young impressionable mind.
Thank God for books.
I have always been a voracious reader. My parents instilled it in me I suppose, for they too loved to read. We didn’t need the radio or television when we read, we turned off the noise and dove into whatever literary delight we were feasting on that week. In story world, external noise doesn’t matter. And if it’s there, it fades into the background as you become immersed in the words that transport you through time and space, into the realm of the impossible. Or the possible. For the more you read, the more you believe. Anything can happen.
When I left on vacation last month, I had this overwhelming need to turn off the noise. I tried to limit myself to what social media I’d check into, and how often. And I read. I read so many good books…I was truly high on literary genius. I didn’t need music or status updates and tweets…I didn’t miss the bitching, the subtle digs or the holier than thou cringeworthy posts…I just wanted to be still. And I was.
And it felt good.
But I know if I want to engage in the life I’ve chosen, I need to do so online. Snail mail takes far too long and can be pretty unreliable. I don’t know anything about ham radio or morse code, and with all the air pollution out there, smoke signals probably won’t be seen…so I’m going to stick to Facebook and Twitter, and blogging (when I feel the need)…but I don’t want to forget. I don’t want to forget what it feels like to be still.
To sit in silence and watch the sun go down. Watch that fiery red ball fully descend toward the horizon line and then disappear in the blip of a split second so easily missed. I don’t want to forget what the early morning song of the birds hidden away in lush jungle sounds like. What the aroma of that first cup of coffee does to the senses. What, if I’m really listening, really paying attention, that soul-deep voice sounds like when He graciously enters my present surroundings and sits with me in the stillness, and says, “This. This is why you’re here. To enjoy. To savor. To love and laugh and just…live. Don’t worry about the rest.”
I roll my eyes at that, but He smiles. Because He knows. He knows me better than I know myself. And I need that reminder every day. I need to remember to let go. To turn off the noise. To sit in the stillness.
To be still.
And to know that He is God.
Maybe you do too.