As we consider the ways of Christian spiritual formation, there is always one particular facet of the journey that mesmerizes and challenges me the most.
The one of “sitting still” before God with the expectation and intention of knowing God. Psalm 46:10 tells us to “Be still and know that I AM God. “
It seems that many Christians are interested in being “busy about the business of God”. Even family life is busy about the “business of family” instead of intentionally taking time to “be still” and know the family member.
Stillness can refer to literally being still or posturing ourselves in a place where we can sense the “distilling” work of Christ within us.
Being still for me can also be a place of being grounded internally in the still unconditional love of Christ even when life is a whirlwind externally.
As a musician, there is always movement of the melody or harmonies in a piece. Yet, there is also the stillness of the rests which call for silence. Though the rest may only be for one beat, we still refer to it as rest, or silence. Sometimes the measured rests have their own rhythm. If we don’t pay attention to the moments of these rests of silence or stillness in the music, we miss the complete picture of what the composer intended us to hear.
We as human beings have the capability of paying attention to either movement within our souls or stillness. Most of us are great at paying attention to this movement or whirling around of the regular living of life from day to day. Yet, we tend to have a more difficult time paying heed to the stillness that comes from the beckoning call of Christ. We are created with the ability to be still within our souls as we pay attention to being with Christ. Christian spiritual formation calls for the both/and of stillness and action: the movement and the rests as it were.
If the stormy sea can understand and obey the words of Jesus when He said, “Peace, be Still”, how can we who are created in His image do less?