He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm.
-Jesus, Mark 4:39
In the middle of a stormy sea, Jesus gave his disciples one of his most powerful sermons. And he did it with only two (Hebrew) words.
The message was direct. "Hey. Be Quiet."
Goodness. Whether I want to be like Jesus OR listen to what he said, it's the same conclusion either way: Less words. More stillness.
Isn't it remarkable that we can construct a self sustaining faith system, full of all the right actions and beliefs, requiring no quiet space with Jesus? This is a great tragedy, when there is more "us" than "God" in our faith.
In the passage above, you might note that Jesus was not talking to his disciples, but to a raging storm. You're right. Jesus was reminding his disciples that he, like Yahweh, had power over the waters of chaos to bring peace, calm, and order. But let's be honest... there's a whole lot of chaos inside most of us most every day. So I don't think it's difficult to picture Jesus looking at us, taking a deep breath in, and then saying simply, "Hey. Can you be quiet for a minute?"
Jesus says that some think God will hear them because of their many words. To others he says that they lack ears to hear. Stillness leads to receptivity.
I'm realizing more and more that it's impossible to listen well when one already has words ready to come out. It's impossible to be fully present and available to God unless one truly learns how to be quiet. And wisdom will never grow deeply in one whose life is not characterized by holy stillness.
Things can even look quiet on the outside, yet our minds and spirits are full of many words blasting at us through our brains and our screens. It may not sound loud, but the water is churning underneath the surface. This is far from the still waters that God leads the Psalmist to (23:2). Love will come in fullness when we take time to delight, enjoy, contemplate, and practice stillness with the living God. The gift is yours to receive.
So, I am yielding the remainder of my allotted time, (Mr. Chairperson). These reflections usually take about 4 minutes to read. Use the final 2 to pause and listen to Jesus as he calms whatever storms are raging in you, and speaks peace.
Jesus, let my words be few. I want to find refuge with you today.