Friday, April 1, 2011

Be still and know that He is God

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

If you haven't seen the movie Sweet Land, you should. The lines above are quoted and fit this peaceful film perfectly.

Words are few in the movie and almost absent between the two main characters. This makes you squirm at first, but please don't turn it off. And as monosyllabic conversation and glances advanced the love story, I was struck again by how we cannot stand the hush of it. We are so use to movies being fast and loud, making our brains dart here and there with the chaos. We want to laugh and cry and rock to the music with no time in between each verb. When a film makes us wait.... painfully so, for a happy development in the story, for humor, for "the kiss", for anything but this quiet!!, it makes us almost anxious. Hurry up! Entertain me faster!

I am trying very hard to not lose the ability to be still. To not be talking to someone or flipping to my favorite playlist whenever I am alone. To leave Pandora out of the picture when I am cooking. Even when I have a personal quiet time with God it is so trying to really and truly sit peacefully at his feet and shut out the anxiety and worry and noise of my mind. If He called me would I even hear Him?

"My dear Wormwood: Music and silence - how I detest them both! [...] Noise, the grand dynamism, the audible expression of all that is exultant, ruthless, and virile. [...] We will make the whole universe a noise in the end. We have already made great strides in this direction as regards the Earth. The melodies and silences of Heaven will be shouted down in the end. But I admit we are not yet loud enough, or anything like it. Research is in progress."

I think research in noise-making has made considerable progress in this world, don't you?

Now think of the quiet of Jesus. The stillness that he ordered of the sea and of demons. He told us in John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you..." Elisabeth Elliott asks us, "What sort of peace has He to give us? A peace which was constant in the midst of ceaseless work (with few visible results), frequent interruptions, impatient demands, few physical comforts; a peace which was not destroyed by the arguments, the faithlessness, and hatred of the people. Jesus had perfect confidence in His Father, whose will He had come to accomplish. Nothing touched Him without His Father's permission. Nothing touches me without my Father's permission. Can I not then wait patiently? [...] He's got the whole world in His hands!"


Dennis said...

I'll try to get you a copy of 'Praying Life' by Paul Miller.
I thought of it when I read your piece.

pamphlet said...

Oh the quiet of this house is loud with your absence! So enjoyed having you home and so glad Jim is back home with you!!
I love you!