Be Still, Find God

If you’re new to Life Compass, on Sundays I write on Spirituality, Faith and Ethics. Here’s why.

“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

A few days ago, I was in northern Michigan for a conference.  I arrived in town the night before at 7:00 PM and checked into the hotel.  Usually, I turn on the TV and watch the news and get caught up on the world’s events.

This time, I thought I should get outside, enjoy the warmth, and watch the sunset.  So, I grabbed a book, checked my iPhone for a map that showed the nearest lake, and was off.

It was only a five minute drive to the nearest lake, where I found a park and some benches that overlooked the lake and the sunset.  I sat there just over an hour reading the book.  It was a quick read, so when I was done, I decided to stay and close my eyes, bask in the warmth of the setting sun, and rest.

My mind immediately began to think thoughts of God.  I thought of the beauty of this place I was at and the majesty of his creation.  I thanked him for the blessing of family and friends, and began to pray for the people and needs I have been concerned about recently.

Then I remembered that the same thing happened earlier in the week when I took my kids to our local botanical garden, and to an outdoor concert at a park!  There must be something about being outside, and not in a hurry to get from point A to point B, that gives my mind more space to think of God, revel in his creation, and long to connect meaningfully with him.

Mother Teresa spoke of finding God in nature.  She said,

“We need to find God, and He can’t be found in noise and restlessness.  God is the friend of silence.  See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon, and the sun, see how they move in silence.  We need silence to be able to touch souls.”

I don’t know about you, but I think it’s getting harder and harder to disconnect from the world and be silent.  Everything is instant.  Everything is quick. Everything can be had now, or at least by 10:00 AM tomorrow.  Everything, that is, except for the cultivation of our souls. That takes time, and silence.

So, how do we find time for spiritual growth?   Tomas a’ Kempis, said:

“If you avoid unnecessary talk and aimless visits, listening to news and gossip, you will find plenty of time to spend in meditation on holy things.”

Sounds simple, doesn’t it?  I’m laughing as I’m typing this because a’ Kempis was a medieval monk who lived in the 1400’s, and I’m wondering what kind of a hectic life he would have had back then.  But I guess all people everywhere have struggled with finding times of quiet to connect to their Creator.

His point is right-on for me.  I was going to just sit in the hotel and watch the news…instead, I went outside, found a quiet spot, and found God waiting there for me.  This experience was a great reminder that my spiritual life plays an important role in my sense of work-life balance.  And that spiritual growth can help in my every day life.  It isn’t just one life area, it impacts all of my life areas.

I need times when I’m still and know that he is God (Psalm 46:10).  I need times when I surrender, give up, drop everything, and just wait on him and look to him.  I need times when I stop striving and just bask in his goodness and grace.

What are your favorite ways to “be still”?

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