You should be known for the beauty that comes from within the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious to God. – 1 Peter 3:4
There is a tale told about a harried executive who went to a desert father to
express his frustration in prayer, his less than stellar virtue, and broken relations. The sage listened carefully to the visitor about his struggles and failures in living the Christian life. He goes to a cave and returns with a basin and a pitcher of water.
“Now watch the water as I pour it into the basin,” he said. The water splashed on the bottom and sides. It was agitated and turbulent. At first the water swirls around in the basin, then gradually settles, until the ripples lessen with time. Only after time does the surface of the water become so smooth that it becomes a mirror into which the executive may look at himself. “This is the way it is when you live constantly in the midst of others,” stated the desert hermit. “You do not see yourself as you really are
because of all the confusion and disturbance. You fail to recognize the divine presence in your life and the consciousness of your beloved slowly fades.”
This is a parable for today! The rushing, swirling, foaming water is life in
modernity. We can’t imagine being alone with ourselves in silence long enough to calm the water of life. Therefore, our life is filled with frustration, confusion, and shallow; unable to hear from God. Life today is without a mirror to reflect our true nature, so we live with a distorted image of self.
Jeremiah Rufkin chronicles the changing pace of life for those who live in
technology cultures. The book Time Wars provides a unique study of history and how life has moved from being measured in ‘seasons’ to ‘nana-seconds’ (1/1,000,000 of a second). A follower of Christ in the day of our Lord didn’t bother checking his smart watch, nor did he carry a smartphone so he could check his email on the go. He would rise with the sun and retire soon after sun set. Life was measured in seasons until recently.
Today, we obsess with finding the latest way of squeezing every second out of our day. We awake through the artificial inducement of an alarm clock. We dutifully fill our day with meetings and create project lists hoping these exercises will give us extra time and efficiency. Open your Outlook or your calendar and schedule a ‘Shhh…’ appointment. We schedule everything else in life we deem important, so why not schedule an appointment to be quiet with God? Quiet time in God’s Word and listening for the voice of God give us the perspective we need to live in this nanosecond world. I know, this seems counterintuitive to carve out time with God when we have so much to do, but remember, God’s way of doing things are often not our way.
To view one’s face in the stilled water of God’s Word and His presence calms
fears, allows us to clearly see what matters in life, and permits us to engage life from a depth of thought unimagined. “Be still and know that He is God”.
Shhh. . .