Lord God, as the din of daily noise confronts me, allow me to embrace the silence of communion with You.
Consider: "He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves 'Quiet, be still!' Then the wind died down and it was completely calm" (Mark 4:39). Sometimes we need to pray for the Lord to calm the storms within and without.
More speed, more gigabytes, more power, more time, more work, more money, more recognition, more, more, more...! Today's world seems full of stresses and demands in a way that previous generations have not known. Life is like a treadmill that moves faster and faster, and sometimes there seems no way to get off. In that context, this psalm provides just the calming balm we sometimes need--the off-switch, as it were, on the treadmill. It is short, so take time to read it aloud, slowly.
We are reminded that achievements and ambitions are not the be all and end all of life. In the light of eternity, it doesn't matter if our iPad, or our car or our TV is the latest model, whether we got the highest grades in that exam or achieved that promotion. Of course not all pressures and stresses are related to pride and ambition, but it is worth thinking about how often they are. There is a saying that has recently surfaced in the United States: "Keep calm and carry on." Most Americans are not familiar with its origin. It is one of a morale-boosting poster series developed in 1939, as Britain was at war and facing possible invasion. Its aim was to help settle a distracted and fearful populace. This psalm says, "Calm down, you don't have to be the best, or the fastest, or the richest, or the brightest. Remember what it felt like to snuggle up to your mother and know that you were safe and all was well. Well, go ahead now and snuggle up to your heavenly Father." Of course computers and cars, work and study, and having money are not bad things, but Israel's hope and our hope can never rest on governments or rulers, however wise or powerful they may be. It can never rest on wealth or status or technology or any other human achievements. Rather, we, too, are told, "Put your hope in the Lord both now and for evermore" (3).
What is necessary to achieve a quiet soul? How can you silence the inner clatter and outer chatter that are so distracting?
Lord, help me today to "calm myself," "quiet my ambitions" (2) and learn what it means for me to store up treasure in heaven.
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