Sunday, December 4, 2011

Be still

"Be still and know I am God" ~ Psalm 46:10

There is something about Advent, particularly this year, that makes me think of the beauty and value of stillness. Perhaps it is the image of that still night in Bethlehem, amidst the starry sky, that the Savior was born. Perhaps it is the stillness of Mary's heart that especially comes to mind - her courageous "Fiat" to bear the Son of God and her singleheartedness to be obedient to God's plan; perhaps it is the beautiful description of how when Christ was born she "pondered all of these things in her heart" (Luke 2:19). Clearly, Our Lady was able to embrace the grace of living in the moment, contemplating the glory of the Lord in her heart and not letting the distractions of the world distract her gaze on the things of the Lord.

It reminds me again how I need stillness in my life. Or, more specifically, stillness in my heart. I am pretty good at "sitting still" and do try to not overload my schedule so much that I don't have at least some time for prayer, reflection, and contemplation. But the time I carve out for these things isn't always a number one priority for me as it should be. Even more so, I see the need in my life for stillness of heart. For having the grace to be still in the Lord -- to know that He is God. Such a simple statement, but what a profound impact it would have on a life that it truly penetrated.

There have been a lot of distractions in my life lately. Mostly good things -- new activities, new opportunities, new people and friendships. But in navigating new territories, my heart has definitely become prone to distraction. Wondering how things will work out. Wondering how all the pieces fit together. Wondering what I should say. Wondering what God thinks. Wondering what's next. A thousand thoughts clamor for my attention, and at the end of the day I find myself exhausted.

"Be still, and know that I am God."

If I could let this stillness seep in, peace would pervade, and those thousand thoughts will be quieted by the knowledge that there is just One that I need.

And in contemplating the One, in basking in this stillness I can wait with a steadfast heart for the coming of my Redeemer.