These words of prayer from Psalm 4 were the foundation of a Lenten Listening session in my church this morning. Interesting to practice stillness and silence in a church sanctuary that sits a hundred yards from one of the busiest streets in Raleigh, Six Forks Road. Slowness, much less stillness will get you killed on Six Forks Road. Rush, hurry, fast and loud are the song of the city. All of us get caught up in it.
We want quick answers. We want strong leaders to guide us. We want, want, want and we want NOW. At least that’s the way we live. What would it mean to the world if we took a step toward stillness and silence and slowness? Lent is a good time to examine our pace, one that might be out of control, one that is possibly stealing the joy of being because of all the doing.
Why is it that too often I feel like if I am still and quiet, I am lazy and leaving something undone? This is where the Protestant work ethic works against me. When I think about the fact that my life could end today, how much do the dirty dishes matter? Who really cares that the trashcans are full? I tend to think my activity and productivity are what makes the world turn and the trains run. How audacious is it to think that it is all on me? Silly me of little faith.
Bask in the stillness. See the wonders of the day. A full moon. Flowers blooming in the first days of spring. Children coming out to play looking for a warm afternoon. This life is such blessing, how can I even enjoy it if I am sprinting through it? Bask in the stillness; sit and give thanks for the moment’s peace.
There is so much unanswered in our world. Sit in the stillness with the questions. There is so much disruption and hurt in our church. Sit in the stillness and pray mercy. There is so much hate and distrust. Sit in the stillness and pray love. God speaks in the stillness. Where am I listening; where are you listening?