Life is unpredictable. One day the sun warms my neck, the next day I awake to rain beating against the window. Joys appear, intermingled with unexpected sorrow that stings to the bone. No day is like the one before or the one that will come after. The noise of this world is constant–trains rumbling, cars honking, text messages arriving musically or with a series of fast beeps. Microwaves sound the alarm when the hot chocolate is warm. Doorbells announce another sales pitch. Emails pour in, each with a familiar bell. Close your eyes. What do hear this very minute?
I hear the living room blinds tapping against the window frame, blowing with a breeze that is lifting the branches of the front-yard maple. I hear the gentle hum of a fan inside my widescreen Mac, cooling this tool that allows me to make art and sell it halfway around the world. At my feet lies my sleeping dog, Buddy. I hear him gently snoring, legs twitching in a run-dog-run dream.
But somewhere out there before the break of Day and return of Night is quiet. A stillness so sweet, it’s palpable.
“Be still and know that I am God,” says my favorite Psalms (46:10).
It’s a stillness that ushers in peace. Calms the storm. Settles any stress that may be niggling at the back of my mind, taking frog-leaps from day to day. Be still and know…
Nothing else quiets a day like realizing my littleness, my dependence, and my total awe of God’s provision, down to the very last detail. When I pause to remember, my ears are blocked to the daily cacophony. (And yes, that is one of my favorite words. Cacophony. I like the way it rolls off my tongue.)
I don’t crave a noisy crowd or music piped into headphones hours a day. Not crazy about the idea of a fancy cruise or shoulder-to-shoulder concert, either.
What I do need is that occasional peace and quiet, and a knowing that in the stillness, I will find Him waiting.
“Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.” Abraham Lincoln