In Psalm 46, there is a particular and important instruction in verse 10. The Lord says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” I’ve known that verse for a long time. But I’m not very good at the idea of being ‘quiet’ in my life.
I love the way Eugene Peterson in The Message records that verse: “Step out of the traffic! Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.”
I don’t know about you, but I can’t help but believe my life would much richer, if I just learned how to be quiet, step out of the traffic, and look at the loftiness of God.
When I decide to allow ‘quiet’ to happen in my life, I think,
Wonderful things show up.
It almost seems as if a room has suddenly materialized in my inner man;
A room where ideas have a place of their own, so they can move around and exercise.
Things that need to be thought about.
Or wondered about,
All those things, and more, seem to find their own place in that magical room;
The space where ‘quiet’ happens, where stillness occurs.
When I decide to allow ‘quiet’ to happen in my life,
It almost seems as if normal distractions have decided to pack their bags and leave town for a while;
The disquieting moments that usually make so much noise in my unsuspecting day, the frustrations and distractions that can so easily plague my life?
I’ve watched them dissipate or dissolve or disintegrate into thin air because I invited ‘quiet’ in the midst of my day, to pull up a chair and have a seat.
That’s not to say that ‘quiet’ is at my beck and call, mind you.
Where does it come from, I wonder?
And why can’t I bottle it, when it arrives?
How great would it be if a body could save up ‘quiet,’ like we save up frequent flyer miles?
Why is it that ‘quiet’ in a life is such a great space to visit, yet we don’t get to live there?
Quiet isn’t some ‘thing’ I can go to the store and buy.
Nor is it an announcement or pronouncement.
I can say, “Quiet!” to myself as much as I want, but it still won’t make ‘quiet’ happen in my life.
I can’t know what my chances are for ‘quiet’ to happen tomorrow, either;
I’ve noticed that I can’t know about ‘quiet’ in my life, like I know there’s a 40% chance of rain this week.
There’s no place to look it up;
There’s no place to check it out.
When ‘quiet’ happens in my life, it almost seems like it sneaks up my soul.
I can hardly hear it coming, most of the time in my life;
It walks on tiptoes.
It doesn’t make a sound.
Then again, it’s not supposed to make a sound.
If ‘quiet’ made a sound … how would we ever hear God’s still small voice.
Perhaps, that’s the nicest thing about being still;
Perhaps that’s the best part of ‘quiet’ happening in my soul.
I not only have a chance to be still and step out of the traffic of life; I get to take a long and loving look at the God who is above politics; the God who is above everything!
No wonder God said, “Be still and know that I am God.” There is positively no place with more wonder and peace and calm than the place where quiet happens in a life.