…the Lord Our God is Won…dering when we’re going to zip it and listen up.
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
What’s the most difficult thing for you on the mountain? Skiing switch? Backside nines? Moguls? Turning left? Every one of us has difficulties. They’re a part of life. Even a part of our spiritual life.
One of my biggest difficulties is SHUTTING UP and LISTENING. Not because I’m a belligerent loudmouth (although, my wife may lovingly disagree), but because when I try to be silent, my mind is flooded with thoughts. ‘Did I buy that flight yet? Where did I put my ski pass? How cold is it out here right now? What’s the name of that Spice Girls song that has been stuck in my head since the early 90’s?’ Literally, it’s chaos up there under my beanie most hours of most days.
Christians talk a lot about listening to the Lord, but in most of our hectic, distraction-ridden lives, we’re not sure if we CAN hear him. Silencing our environment and then proceeding to silence our minds seems nearly impossible.
I have two kids. They’re fantastic. And they are like a tropical storm in a bottle. In the natural flow of my day, I find zero moments for silence. A few years ago, I added a pow surfer and a splitboard to my quiver of park boards. At first I thought I’d hate it. Where are all the rails up here anyway? But since then, I’ve become the Dad of Dawn Patrol. I sneak out of my house with a headlamp while my family sleeps, and I crawl up the mountain through a few sections of trees and I find…sometimes a handful of pow turns, sometimes not, but almost always, I find…silence.
Several people in my inner circle have been studying the practice of silence and solitude. I’m like, “I know, I know, I know!” I struggle with silence. And yet I recognize the negative effects from not trying it more often. I used to think it needed to be a go-away-to-the-desert experience, but I’m beginning to realize that we can create rhythms in our daily life for moments of silence and chewing on God’s Word and sitting in His peace.
In 1st Kings, after the storm, the earthquake and the fire Elijah heard the “still small voice” of God. In the Shema (“Hear O Isreal”) has been translated not as ‘hear’ but with words like ‘believe’ and ‘obey’. We may or may not hear God’s audible voice, but the call is to BE STILL and know that He is God. Quieting our minds and taking every thought captive (in submission to the Lord) helps us pause for long enough to know and trust in Him.
Do you want to hear God? Have you listened to what He has already spoken?
Are there areas of your life where you don’t want to listen?
How can you make time in your schedule to practice a bit of silence and solitude?
By Joshua Stock|Copper Mountain, CO