WHEN I was a child my parents often vacationed in the mountains. Because we were from the dusty plains, we welcomed the cool breezes and fresh-scented pines. It was guaranteed that on one of these days, somewhere between the miniature golfing and visits to the Indian curio shop, my dad would take me to the summit of one of the lovely mountains. Looking out over the range of the Rocky Mountain foothills, he would sit me down beside him and gently say, ``Now, it's time to be still.'' It seemed like an impossible task for one whose days were filled with lots of activities. How difficult it seemed to harness the energy running within oneself. I would wrestle with inner squirmings.
``Now, let's listen. Do you hear the wind whispering?'' We would sit silently, listening to soft, gentle sounds always present but so often unnoticed. We would settle into a sweet serenity where life's hustle and bustle seemed so far behind. When we would eventually talk, it was inevitably about God. His presence was unmistakably near and tangible. In those calm moments I learned to love and value stillness.
Christ Jesus valued the tranquillity of the mountaintop. We read in Luke, for example, that ``he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.''1 After that he performed many healing works.
To take time to be still is a demand woven throughout the Bible. When, for instance, the children of Israel were trapped by the Red Sea and an encroaching enemy, there was great turmoil. Yet Moses told them, ``Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord.''2 They were protected and saved.
When Job found himself in desperate straits, he was told, ``Hearken unto this, O Job: stand still, and consider the wondrous works of God.''3 Eventually his well-being was restored.
In a powerful psalm we are instructed, ``Be still, and know that I am God.''4
It seems that stillness is a prerequisite for knowing God, for hearing the word of God, for feeling the strength and saving power of His presence.
Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, writes in Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures: ``To enter into the heart of prayer, the door of the erring senses must be closed. Lips must be mute and materialism silent, that man may have audience with Spirit, the divine Principle, Love, which destroys all error.''5
Just think of it! God is Love. To have audience with God is to listen to the voice of divine Love. In the middle of a busy day wouldn't it be reassuring to hear what Love is saying to us? The communication of divine Love is that of comfort, of guidance, of love. The word of God can bring order and peace to a chaotic day.
In reality, divine Love and its spiritual offspring, man, are in perfect agreement. There is no distraction or obstruction to interfere with the inseparable relationship between God and man. Man, reflecting Love's eternal stillness, hears the ``still small voice'' of Truth.
If we are feeling rushed and pressured, we should realize that we are too busy not to take time to be still and listen to God. Pausing to find a mental climate of stillness with divine Love stabilizes our offices, homes, and health. We should welcome the voice of our heavenly Father that gently speaks to each of us. ``Now, it's time to be still.''
1Luke 6:12. 2Exodus 14:13. 3Job 37:14. 4Psalms 46:10. 5Science and Health, p. 15.
You can find more articles like this one in the Christian Science Sentinel, a weekly magazine. DAILY BIBLE VERSE: I will hear what God the Lord will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints. Psalms 85:8