“You will never know God, or your true self, unless you learn to be still.” – Thomas Merton, Trappist Monk
One of the most profound things I have learned on my journey with Christ is echoed throughout our culture. Unfortunately, most of us don’t make the time to listen.
We are under the wrong assumption that we have to “do something” in order to connect with God. No wonder, since our society is based upon productivity and the measure of our success seems to be how busy we are.
But both these influential voices in my life, Father Thomas Merton and Mr. Don Henley, speak truth into our current environment. I hold them in equally high regard, because to speak truth is to speak life. And both have come to learn that stillness brings a peace to the soul that “success” never will.
My truth is, that all the things I chase after and pursue can be found by just stopping and allowing my Gracious Heavenly Father to provide them. Learning to be still is more an exercise in trust than anything else. It is a hard thing for me to trust God enough to stop for a while and just soak up His presence. It is a hard thing for me to believe that He will take care of all the things that I am NOT doing while I am spending time with Him. However, I found this to be the path of blessedness.
Learning to be still for me does not necessarily mean sitting in a corner all by myself and doing nothing. For me, learning to be still means quieting my mind. It means allowing myself the grace of not being anxious or worried about anything else (grocery lists, projects at work, disagreement with my husband) and just living in the presence of the Almighty – even if only for a few minutes. For it is in these moments that He can work with me. He can fill my soul with His sweet Holy Spirit. He can whisper words of love and affirmation in my ear. He can strengthen my resolve with a touch of His hand. But my mind has to be quiet enough to receive these gifts. Sometimes, I do this while walking outside. Sometimes I do this at the altar in my sanctuary. Sometimes I do it on my back porch while watching the squirrels play.
It doesn’t really matter how you quiet your mind and soul. The only thing that matters is that you give God the chance to minister to your spirit. It is deep, and wide, and unending – this flow of grace from the Father’s hand. I urge you to learn to take the time to stand under the waterfall of His Holy Spirit and be renewed each day.
This is one of my favorite songs from Mr. Henley. The video is not so great, but it is the only one I could find to share that was not a cover version. And there is something about authenticity that is important in matters such as these. So close your eyes if you want. Sit back, and spend a few minutes in peace, letting the words sink deep into your soul.