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..