“Be still, and know that I am God!”
~Psalm 46:10a (NRSV).
The key to stillness, in this busy day, which is an ever-present reality, is the self-satisfactory use of time. What abides subsequent in the heart is the unmerited joy of constancy... a smooth peace prevails, which at truth only God can give.
The secret to inner stillness — providing for same — surrounds protecting time.
This is not selfishly guarding time; rather, it’s hoarding pre-determined portions of time, with the contingency of providing extra time if this time doesn’t work out. It’s also primarily about protecting ourselves from rush — a task for each conscious moment.
Why is This a Secret?
There are so many distractions in life — those we either depend on or deplore — which complicates the sight of this secret. It’s hidden from ordinary view. If it cannot be seen, it can’t be accessed, nor acquired.
Most people who are antitheses of stillness are thus so by choice.
They’ve fallen in love with the god of Achievement. Stillness, for them, might be the biggest threat to the most powerful thing they’ve experienced. The logic stands up. Why reject something that’s given us so much?
It’s also a secret because we remain unconvinced as to its true worth; therefore it’s never been explored. How often have we been exposed to unhurried exemplars that connect with that part of the Jesus-nature? Not that often, if ever.
But deeper, we pine for stillness — the point of grace.
Why Must We Share this Secret?
To enjoy the secret we must share it; freeing others validates the gift we too possess.
In sharing we allow ourselves to retain it. Firstly, the teacher learns twice. They consolidate their own learning when they cause someone else to learn. What we promote becomes a deeper value.
It’s one thing to understand the nature and manifestation of something. It’s entirely another to actually live it, adopting the new thing as a habit into the persona.
We must live the secret in as many ways as possible — and especially by example — if we desire it to become our modus operandi.
Living The Stillness Secret
When we’ve been burned by busyness or burnout, selling our souls for a pittance, we’ve learned the premium attached stillness.
But we don’t have to learn the hard way. We can see the mistakes others are making and agree not to go their way.
J It takes a commitment to find personalised and meaningful ways that engender stillness. It only works if it works for us, personally, deeper down. We must pray for God’s revelation as it uniquely implicates us.
J It comes when we practice calmness in both our quiet and busy times. Commit to forming the habit.
J By agreeing never to panic we hold firm to dual beliefs of faith: 1) that all will be okay, 2) despite the fact we can’t see the future.
Recapping the Secret
The stillness secret is politely yet firmly resisting the pull of the world to distract us from the congruence within our inner selves — the God-indwelt vessel. It’s hence experienced in reflection; that we’re satisfied with our patient use of time.
At one level we practice; at another level we reflect and reinforce what’s working that we’ve adopted.
Stillness is the secret gift that God has for every one of us; we must agree, however, that we want and need it; that we’re prepared to go after it.
© 2011 S. J. Wickham.