Every one of us has heard those “words of wisdom” that trip easily from the tongue, but hearing the words and doing as they say are two different things! We may smile, nod, and murmur, “I’m sure you are right,” but when we try to put the advice into practice – “Ah, there’s the rub!” Take these words of wisdom for example:
“Be still and know that I am God.”
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding.”
“If anyone lack wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly and it will be given you.”
Positive, affirming words, yes? Indeed. They are biblical. They have a fine ring to them. But to put the words into action...really? How?
May I share the secret I’ve discovered that makes these hallowed words doable? It takes time. It takes time and practice. It takes time, practice, and stillness. The stillness, the trusting, the wisdom are all there waiting for you. How quaint that advice sounds! Especially in our instant gratification driven world where we can buy or numb our way through many of life’s challenges. Quaint but true.
Listening for God’s word , opening ourselves to God’s presence, and discerning the wise words takes time…practice…stillness.
During these crazy, deeply unsettling times nothing is going to be easy. From the events unfolding day by day in our nation, or discovering the next step for our congregation to take, or learning to live in the bodies that don’t work as well as they used to, and finding the peace of God in the midst of it all? It may not going to be easy, but is still possible. God works best in the dark.
If there is any advice that I, as your pastor, have for you it is this: Take the time. Practice, every day. Be still. Pray. Meditate. Find that still, quiet center within you that is the Holy Spirit. The Spirit is there. Strong, patient, expectantly waiting for you.
“I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken...
my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices.” (Ps. 16:8)