“Be still.” We used to hear those words frequently from Dad when we were little. Three little wiggling, chattering bodies in the back seat of his Dodge Charger while we were at the bank drive-through would elicit a furrowed-brow, pursed-lip “be still” from Dad. He needed to be able to concentrate, if just for a moment, and we were good at distracting him. He wasn’t being mean, but he meant to cut to the chase and gain mental clarity quickly, and he couldn’t do that as long as he was hearing “stop touching me!” or “Mom, can I have some gum?” or “When are we gonna be done?” from the peanut gallery. We didn’t have time to be still when we were children. There was too much to do and see and chatter about.
I don’t know what happened, but along through the years of getting from then to where I am now, I have developed a desperate need to get quiet. It’s not that I’m so surrounded by actual noise, but the noise in my head is astounding. Whether it’s hashing out a disagreement ad nauseum in my mind, or trying to reconstruct helpful answers for some auditor at work, or anticipating how much time I don’t have to complete all I want to get done, I just never seem to be still, physically or otherwise.
There seems to be an overarching theme in my thinking that there is some goal or objective, or some period of time that is yet to come, something greatly expected and anticipated… a time when there will be stillness and wholeness. “If I can just get this done, or that done, if I can just figure out how to…” fill in the blank. There will be a time when our schedules won’t be too much and our bodies won’t remind us how broken we are, but I’m convinced it won’t be while I’m on this earth. I think it’s called Heaven. I am human and I know at the core of my being that I was not meant to be broken or confused. We understand without even thinking it consciously that the perfection of the Garden of Eden was once possible and is now just outside our earthly grasp. When we don’t get the result we hope for, we resort to plan B, C, D, E… “Hmmm… plan B didn’t work. Next work around, please.”
Back to the car for a minute. When Dad said “be still!” he didn’t mean that he had to be completely restored, body and soul in that moment. He just wanted a little peace so he could think. While I am longing for complete restoration – physical, emotional, mental and last, but by no means least, spiritual – I understand that there are lesser ways I can be restored until the Lord returns and fulfills his promise of complete restoration which can lighten the burden of being a human, broken by sin and physical decay.
My prayer today is for God to help me see those things in my heart and in my life which are causing me not to hear his voice.