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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Hide and Seek

Hide and Seek

Keep me as the apple of your eye;
   hide me in the shadow of your wings ~Psalms 17:8

Because you are my help,
   I sing in the shadow of your wings.
 I cling to you;
   your right hand upholds me
. ~Psalms 63:7-8

“Make me be silent.” That is my prayer.  I whisper it often, lately, because there is so much noise in my life.  Much of the noise I make myself; television, music, self-talk (some good, some not so good), to-do-lists, advice and guidance to my children, admonishment, my fears, my concerns, my dreams.  So much noise, that I am certain “that still small voice” is speaking and I cannot hear it.  Lord, I desire to hear You when You call, when You encourage, when You teach.  So, this is my prayer, “make me be still.”

You stilled us at the waters in the 23rd Psalms.  You stilled us into silence in the 46th.  Your Word is full of quietness that frankly, we simply don’t hear, because we’ve got so much going on.  I am thankful for my distractions, for the blessings they represent.  I will not fail to thank You for access to information, for family, for friends that check on me, even when they can hear in my voice that I don’t want to talk (so rare for me).  I am grateful, and yet I ask, “make it quiet.”

I desire quiet closeness with You.  Quiet time.  One of my favorite things about being with my husband is that we can be alone, together.  We can share space and closeness without feeling compelled to do.  Though those times are rare, and so often interrupted by a child or the dog, I am thankful for them.  They are blissful, hushed acknowledgements of intimacy that do not require a soundtrack, and that is what I crave with God.
 
He is always there, ever watchful, ever vigilant, ever loving, and I am obliged to give devoted service in gratitude.  I only wish I would learn to still myself, stripping away the stuff that would keep me from You.  

I will never be a nun.  I will never be cloistered.  Real stillness, absolute quiet, let’s be honest, is kind of scary.  Generally, I need a soundtrack to still the noise before I can even find quiet.  How crazy and counterintuitive is that? As a runner, I use music to control distractions.  I have also deliberately ceded my running time to devotion, because it is time I can permissibly carve out without guilt.  So here, once again, I make a declaration of intent.  I pray when I run, and now I will practice stillness and quiet as I stretch daily.  I will be conscious about making it quiet.

In a world filled with busyness, we feel guilty about not doing.  In a world filled with stuff, we find ourselves cluttered.  I’ve got to much stuff, and I’ve got too much noise.  So I’m stripping it down, beginning today.  Perhaps I’ll hear more, or, maybe I will simply learn the discipline of being quiet, being still, being obedient.  Wow.  Because one thing I have come to acknowledge is that the lesson you think you’re learning is not always the lesson you get.  So, because I need to learn this lesson, I will purposefully pursue it.
 
And, if ever I thought, even for a moment, that He was not absolutely in the midst of it all, I already received confirmation.  You know who you are, and I will only say, “thank you, for living your life as an example I am honored to emulate. You make God smile.  You made me smile, too.”

So, up I get, from this perch, to stretch and be quiet.  I will seek Your voice and turn away, beginning my own spiritual game of Hide and Seek.  For a time, precious little time, I will hide from the noise and seek His face.  I will practice quiet.  And among my many distractions, things to do, people to see, stuff to manage, I will continue to feel abundantly blessed, because while there could always be more, there is still so much from which I must withdraw, and for that, today, I am thankful.  It is this day’s grace.  Further evidence that God is good.  

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