So, in the 24 + years since I consciously accepted Jesus Christ as my savior, I have heard, seen, read and attended a myriad of sermons, messages, bible studies, small community groups, conferences, workshops, church services and gatherings. I still experience some of these, as I feel it is important not to be stagnant in education. Plus, there is an allure to search out and find the next great thing or nugget of truth–that one piece of information that will make all that conflicts me, snap into place. The “a-HA!” moment. We ask God for a sign and to tell us what to do and we get frustrated when God replies, “You can’t DO anything.” Wha-? But. But. He says, “Be still.” And we very reverently respond with, “WTH?”
Last December I got into a habit of daily meditation during the Advent season. Click here to listen to the 10/23/2011 and 11/27/2011 messages that inspired me. At some point it dawned on me that I just might already have enough information to follow Christ. How do I access that 24 year accumulation? I certainly didn’t have it archived. I got quiet. I didn’t stop all my other practices of gathering with my church community, prayer, etc. (although some did get the axe). But there is something amazingly valuable about sitting still, shutting up and listening. In the quiet, our senses stir. The mundane and ordinary that were once eclipsed by noise and activity, become exceptional. We start to see God’s presence where it has always been. Everywhere. We can hear the still, small whisper. We can hear the Holy Spirit leading us into truth we have been learning for years but have not slowed enough to embrace.
I love Robert Fulghum’s book All I Really Need To Know, I Learned In Kindergarten–especially that particular essay. It reminds us there are basic principles that we forget over time. Things like playing fair, saying you’re sorry when you hurt somebody, cleaning up your own mess, not taking things that aren’t yours. These principles still apply in our adult lives. We’ve just made them complicated and sometimes near impossible to live out.
So, after hearing two or three thousand messages–some duplicates–I’m pretty sure I have enough to go on in following Jesus. Accessing stillness makes us realize that the “a-HA” moments are more plentiful than we originally thought.