Be still….wait, what?

Have you ever had the experience (because I’m assuming that its not peculiar to me) of saying some thing to yourself time after time; being completely convinced that you know what you are talking about, but then one day realising with a sudden bolt of clarity that you actually had no idea at all? And that you have a whole new perspective and your previous understanding, or lack of it, had been totally shallow and illusory?

(Quotes along the lines of ‘scales dropping from eyes’ and ‘through a glass darkly’ are coming to me, but the Internet on my IPad isn’t working right now so I can’t Google them to find out their providence and they may have nothing to do with what I’m talking about…)

The words ‘Be still and know that I am God’ have been in my head for YEARS. I’m sure since before I first read the Bible but certainly before the time that I could have told you that they are taken from the 46th Psalm ( once again, no google; could be wrong). I’ve always loved the sound of those words and they’ve been on my ‘midlife crisis tattoo’ short list for a while.

I remember talking to a hippy, Goddess worshipping friend years ago and telling her that I didn’t feel in anyway spiritual, but the words ‘ Be still and know that I am God*’ kept popping into my head with little or no provocation. She found this hilarious and commented that she thought someone might be trying to tell me something. To which I probably replied ‘Meh’.

Point is, these are words that come into my head on a daily basis. They’ve become part of my noise; part of my internal dialogue.

Look, I realise that I’m going to sound absolutely stupid and embarrass myself here but it wasn’t until 2 weeks ago that I suddenly thought to myself ‘Hey, what does ‘Be still’ actually mean?

And it dawned on my that I am never ‘still’. Well my body often is because I love a good sofa as much as the next lazy person, but my mind, well, that’s another matter. Sure, I try to have some still, meditative time every day ( try, that is) but working on being ‘still’ for any length of time? From the inside out? Never.

So, what does Be still mean, I asked myself?

Maybe it means- stop the distractions? Maybe it means get rid of the huge pile of books that are guilting me into reading them? Maybe it means stop listening to podcasts and checking Facebook and all the other things that fill up my day with busy work?

Maybe I should actually, you know…..Be Still?

Still the noise and the chatter and the ideas and the thinking.

Which is hard. My GOD it’s hard! I went a whole day without reading anything. Not a book, not a magazine, not a cereal packet. Granted, a day is not necessarily a reliable case study, but I’ve got to say, it was pretty amazing. Getting rid of all of those external ideas and opinions and sparks to debate really did begin to still my mind. I can’t know for sure if this has anything to do with it, but it was that night when I had my first ‘Prayer Breakthrough’ ( because everything I do has to have a title, you know).

It makes me wonder how many other things I THINK I understand, but I’m actually barely skimming the surface of?

* This kept autocorrecting to Ood. If you’re a Whovian you’ll understand the humour..

10 thoughts on “Be still….wait, what?

  1. Yep! Be still and know that I am God psalm 46:10 i had the same kind of experience last week when a friend and I delved into the meaning of baptism and discovered that our definition of what that really was had changed over the years and brought us to a point where we were no longer right. Thinking about it, putting into words, and searching for the Biblical correctness of our position was a good exercise.

  2. A friend once complained, “I want to have a spiritual experience, but I don’t believe in spirit!” It’s hard, in a scientific age, to find ways to express religious longings when we’re pretty sure there ain’t no Man with a White Beard running things.

    Still, we yearn for something that seems to call us from within. “Be still and know God” isn’t a self-help tip; it’s not Yoga for Health. If we arrive at a moment when our internal dialog comes to a halt, that very moment is the point. The “me” is gone, and the world is directly ours in all its indefinable glory.

    And then we can decide whether to call it “God” or “Spirit” or “It-ness” or whatever.

    But we can’t exercise our way to spiritual realization! That’s just more internal dialog. Realizing that, we might become frustrated, as there’s nothing to do but wait, possibly without any results. As one sage put it, “You can leave a window open, but that doesn’t mean the breeze will blow in.” Ironically, though, the patience we need — the acceptance of doubt, of not knowing — is a huge chunk of the thing we’re searching for. Weird, eh?

    (I’m tempted to write, “Signed, Face of Boe.”) 🙂

    • That’s so true- it really doesn’t seem to be operating on our time line, does it?

      I think that I had been viewing the phrase as a self help tip. But patience and doubt are the key.

      And now I’m always going to think of you as the Face of Boe 🙂

  3. There are techniques which can be studied and which might help to facilitate stillness, calm, meditation and so on, but ultimately, it’s the sort of thing that happens as a by-product rather than deliberately.

    I have an entirely materialist point of view, but I’ve also (in the past, admittedly) had some wonderful “spiritual” experiences. There are difficult questions related to that, around whether it would be rational to effectively exploit glitches in my mental wiring to pursue experiences like that. Honestly, I have no idea how I feel about that!

  4. Wonderful! Your story is proof of the axiom that the most important things we are search for in life are hiding in plain sight.
    But your auto correct has ruined it for me. Next time we sing that song at church I am going to have to bite my lip 🙂
    Mind you the Ood do have a stillness about them – so maybe there is a meditative image there for you – who knows????

    • Actually the Ood have that lovely meditative song, don’t they? Hmmm, maybe there’s more to Russell T Davies than meets they eye?

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  7. I appreciate how the Scripture replayed itself in your head, E, and how you’re grappling with it. I don’t really have the answer. Esp bc I’m so bad at being still. I believe it will come…to YOU. But I did happen to write something short out of that verse. It’s one of my first posts. No obligation to respond or like at all. Just sharing for the obvious relevance. Been planning to visit – didn’t even realize you’d liked my latest post ’til I pulled it up to tap into your site. Thanks, and happy new year. =)


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