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Stilled and Ready

I’ve kept my feet on the ground, I’ve cultivated a quiet heart. Like a baby content in its mother’s arms, my soul is a baby content. (Psalm 131:2)

Quietness of heart comes as a bit of a hard thing because we are so used to "noise" in our lives. We are a little bit too inundated with all kinds of things adding background and foreground noise. Background noise is there, almost unnoticed, until it is gone. Foreground noise is evident, with it even getting our attention in the here and now. Yet noise is just that - noise everywhere. Noise is really something which just confuses the clarity of that which is really trying to come through! Think about the things that are "just there", but intently creating confusion in our lives - things when removed might just give us a little more clarity on what it is God may be trying to show us. Quietness is the opposite of noise - it is not the total absence of it, but it is the clarifying and eliminating of all which lends confusion. 

As this 'eliminating' and 'clarifying' process happens, the "disturbance" created by the noise settles and you are often free to begin to hear and see the reality of what is ahead of you. For most, we'd say the place of quietness was the total absence of noise, but I have to ask just how many of us actually can achieve a place of comfort in the total absence of noise? Most of us would say it kind of freaks us out. We have a hard time remaining absolutely still, no one talking, no earbuds plugged in, no fan creating some background noise, no TV drowning out other sounds. This is probably why so many people just cannot abide with silence when they are together with each other - silence makes us uncomfortable. Why? Maybe it is because we begin to imagine all the things that might be "wrong" when one is totally silent. Perhaps it is the intensity of focus it requires to be truly still. It really doesn't matter - silence is difficult.

God desires a purposefully quieted heart. Remembering the heart is made up of our mind, will, and emotions, it might just make sense why this is so important. When there is a clarifying and eliminating of thoughts that only create confusion, lend distraction, or impede our truly concentrating, God is pleased. When the desires of our heart are toward that which doesn't create more chaos in our lives, God is pleased. When our emotions are not in a tumultuous churning, God is pleased. How many of us actually achieve this place of "quietness" or "stillness" - I mean really? Here's something you need to keep in mind - it is not the absence of emotion, the absence of decisiveness, or the absence of thinking God desires, it is the centering of our emotions, thoughts, and desires on him! Some of us just need to slow down long enough to actually get quiet before God. 

We allow our minds to spin at hundreds of continuous revolutions per minute and wonder why we don't feel fulfilled, whole, and like we have made a difference today. The quietness God desires is not the total absence of activity, but the choice to engage in the "RIGHT" activity. What are you spending your time, talent, and resources on today which could be done by another? When you spend your resources like that, you are not pursuing what only you can do. We often spend our precious resources doing what someone else could very easily do - all the while neglecting the very thing NO ONE ELSE can do! It is God's intention for us to be quiet enough to get clarity on matters of the soul such as this. When we begin to ask the right questions, we might just get the right answers! Quietness is difficult, but it is necessary. If we aren't regularly "settling" our hearts long enough to actually begin to see the "confusion" around and within us settle as well, we are just "settling for" life in a confused, chaotic state. 

No self-help class or book will ever change things for us. No retreat to the mountain tops will ever make up for the lost times when we could have just settled down right there on our own couches and let God speak to us in the stillness of our time with him. Maybe this is why Christians have coined the phrase "Quiet Time" as the time we take each day to be alone with God, get perspective on his Word for us, and then share from our hearts with him. Let be and be still, and know (recognize and understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth! (Psalm 46:10 AMP) God tells us to "LET BE" and "BE STILL". In other words, let things go and then be still. It isn't until we learn to let go that we come into the place of stillness. Just sayin!


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