April 1st, 2006

Just Listen

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

I’ve always had a thing about loud noises – I don’t like them! It doesn’t really matter what it is. I especially hate the buzz or feedback through a sound system. That sends me right up the wall. But in a strange work of irony, I’ve never been very good at being quiet. In elementary school, my grade card always said the same thing, “Doug needs to learn to leave others alone. He is too social!” Can I help it? I like people.

I was horrible at hide and seek. I was the kid that if you didn’t find me pretty quick, I started making sound so that you could find me. The cruelest and usually most effective lesson my mom made me learn was to just sit still. I wasn’t allowed to speak, move or anything – it’s a miracle I survived.

Survival as a Christian is also tightly related to our ability to be still. In fact in the passage above it tells us that the way we know God is by being still. Why? Because our God never shouts, He doesn’t have to! Check out I Kings 19:1-13 for a picture of this.

What God has to say to us is so important that we are to take the step of listening, God won’t shout over all the “noise” of our lives. Go ahead and try it right now. Put some headphones on without any music or sit quietly and just listen to the silence. If you’re like me, it will sound very weird and uncomfortable. But keep listening. What do you hear? As I sit here I can hear the windchimes on our back porch, the fan motor on my laptop and my own breath. Wow, I haven’t heard myself breath any other time today. But of course, I wasn’t listening.

Practice the art of being still before God. Don’t speak, just listen. I doubt that you will audibly hear the voice of God – but that would be cool! Instead your heart will hear what God might have been trying to tell you for weeks or months. Just listen . . .