It’s amazing the things that inspire us. Today it was my daughter. Emily is working this summer for a public policy “think tank” called Cardus. This week her blog entry for their website was not only incredibly thought provoking (I know I am biased, but read it for yourself at http://www.cardus.ca/blog/2013/06/the-sound-of-silence, but also for me a bit convicting.
So today I decided that I would take a retreat from all the “noise”. I turned off the ringer on the home phone, and silenced my cell. I turned off the indicators on my computer, didn’t turn on the television or stereo and I resisted the ‘urge’ to vacuum ... that would just be way too much noise! I found a comfy space on my patio and I sat, and sat, and sat in silence.
I lasted 6 minutes.
My mind was racing with all the things that I needed to get done. Not only that, but recent conversations that I had had with people were replaying in my mind.
Sure, I had controlled the external noises but not the internal noise that caused me to stir.
I needed to quieten my mind.
Deep breathe. Relax. Deep breathe. Relax. On the third breathe this scripture came to mind.
“Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46: 10)
Being still in body, mind and spirit is not as easy as it sounds. Silence is a discipline that can allow us to enter more deeply into communion with God, a God who periodically speaks in the wind, in fire, and in earthquakes, but who seems to most often speak in a quiet whisper.
Do you remember in the Old Testament when Elijah heard from God?
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. (I Kings 19:11-13)
To hear the “gentle whisper” of God as He speaks His will for our lives may require us to be silent.
We’ve been working through a Sunday worship series called, Finding God’s Will. Last week we looked at how one of God’s primary tools for helping us find His will is through the Godly men and women in our midst. That was reconfirmed to me last Saturday as your elders and I retreated to Crieff Hills to pray and seek God’s will for us at Amberlea. Each of the elders, without exception, are men and women chosen and ordained by God to serve as the spiritual leadership of this church. It was a privilege to pray and dream and vision with these faithful servants. God did not disappoint. We will share more in the coming weeks and months. God certainly has exciting things in store for us at Amberlea -- of that we are certain.
Next Sunday, June 23rd, we will continue our series with Part 3 of Finding God’s Will, looking at another tool that God gives us to help us to find God’s will for our lives.
This Sunday, June 16th, we have a special guest joining us. Rob Styler is an amazing storyteller who can be heard regularly on the radio program Messianic Perspectives. In honour of Father’s Day he will be sharing the story of Abraham and Isaac. You’ll want to be here!
My prayer for you this week is that as you carve out some quiet time, alone, that you would encounter God in a new and powerful way. And may God remind you, as He did me, to Be still and know that I am God.