Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Be still

Tehillim 46:10-11Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)
10 (11) Be still, and know that I am Elohim: I will be exalted among the Goyim, I will be exalted in ha’aretz.
11 (12) Hashem Tzva’os is with us; Elohei Ya’akov is our stronghold. Selah.

Psalm 46:10-11New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)
“Be still, and know that I am God!
    I am exalted among the nations,
    I am exalted in the earth.”
The Lord of hosts is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our refuge.[a]Selah

I find myself revisiting this Psalm in times of trouble and following the instruction to Selah (pause and reflect).  The passage starts us off with a command to, essentially, pause and reflect and ends us the same way.  STOP what you are doing.  Be still. REFLECT that I am God.  In the end, he reminds us again that He is the God of Jacob, the exhausted of many nations and of the Earth itself and that HE is our refuge. 

I cannot think of this without then thinking of Mark 4:39.  The storm was raging around the disciples and Jesus called out, “PEACE and Be STILL.”  (The word peace he uses there is literally, “Hush” which always made me wonder if he was hushing his disciples and telling the waves to be still, or both. Either way, both did as they were commanded.) 

Today we live in a time of unprecedented stimulus.  Phones, TV, Internet, Ipods, radio, 3D, virtual reality, movies, games, and so on and so forth inundate us with a constant flow of distraction. We have so much that we can, quite literally, be connected with something from the time we wake until the time we fall asleep.  You would think that this would be an age of true connection.  You would think that today, people of all walks of life would feel more unity around them.  We talk constantly and instantly.  In a moment, our thoughts, desires, and needs can be communicated to one or to many.  Yet, many people feel completely disconnected from their churches, their families, their neighbors, their lives, and their God.  (Yes, even though we can get 40 different bible translations and cross reference God’s word from the original text, we don’t have a clue that we don’t have a clue that we don’t feel connected to Him.)

So, I am brought back to our Psalm.  If I cannot find my connection in the noise, perhaps I can find the connection in the stillness.  Which, I think, makes us all a bit queasy.  We WANT the silence filled.  We WANT to talk even if we don’t have anything quality to say.  We WANT to hear the things we can hear because we fear we won’t hear anything in the silence. 

In Mark 4:40, Jesus asks, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”  He is saying this after giving His disciples refuge from the storm, after they have clamored for help, and after He has called for silence. This is important. 

We cannot fill the void with our own voices, when we try we talk ourselves into fear.  We cannot distract away our need for connection, but we try.  We cannot externally stimulate ourselves to peace or faith.  What we can do, what we should do every day, is unplug and do as God says….”Be still, and know that I am God.”  He is our refuge.

Some food for thought and prayer.

Here I am, Lord, send me, 
 Lisa Lee Brandel