In a book titled “Directions, by Insights for Christian Living” James Hamilton writes, “Before refrigerators, people used icehouses to preserve their food. Icehouses had walls a foot thick, no windows, and a tightly fitting door. In winter, when the lakes were frozen, large blocks of ice were cut, hauled by wagon to the icehouses, and covered with sawdust. Often this ice would last well into the summer. One man lost a valuable watch while working in an icehouse. He searched carefully for it, but could not find it. His fellow workers looked but could not find it. A small boy who heard about the loss slipped into the icehouse and few minutes later emerged with the watch. Amazed, the men asked how he had found it, ‘I closed the door, laid down in the sawdust, and kept very still. Soon, I heard it ticking.’” Sometimes it is just that simple. Sometimes we need to find a place where we can get rid of all those competing voices and demands and give God our full attention. Perhaps that is why so many people say they feel closest to God when they are out in nature — away from the noise, TV, phones, IPads. There is a need in each one of our lives to be still and quiet before the Lord. Eugene H. Peterson writes, “The most striking thing about keeping the Shabbat is it begins by not doing anything. The Hebrew word Shabbat is untranslated into our language and simply means, ‘Quit; stop; take a break.’ As such, Shabbat has no religious or spiritual content: Whatever you are doing, stop it. Whatever you are saying, shut up and be quiet. You are to sit down and take a look around you. Don’t do anything. Don’t say anything. Fold your hands. Take a deep breath.”
There is wisdom in pausing. When we stop running around we can see what God has done and is doing. When we quiet ourselves long enough, we hear what God has said and is saying. Without silence and stillness there is no God-attentiveness or God-responsive life. So, I wonder how many times I have missed out on seeing God’s presence and activity in my life because I was not quiet enough to hear.
Scripture Reading: Philippians 4:9
“Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.”
What helps you to listen more intently?
Who are you most unlikely to listen to and why?
What is God doing in your life?
Prayer: Holy God, slow me down so I can be more present to your presence and more attentive to the needs of those around me. Amen
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