Be Still

If some cosmic investigator were to follow around mankind, he’d likely conclude that contrary to The Beatles’ famous assertion, it isn’t love making the world go round, but anxiety. Worry. Stress. Preoccupation with “Did I remember to,” “How much is enough,” “What do they think of me,” and “What’s tomorrow’s plan?”

So hurried are our minds, so saturated with ceaseless unsettlement, that not only do we refuse to meditate on God’s command in Psalm 46, we can’t even make sense of it.

Be still and know that I am God? We’re commanded to know something? Why do we have to be still to know it? Can’t we acknowledge it while also doing something else? How can we stop our chores for mere intellectual assent? Can’t I multitask?

How in the world will the dishes still get done?

 

In Exodus 24, God invites Moses on the mountain with Him.

God –creator of universe, maker of noses, giver of life,

invites Moses –mortal, shepherd, murderer, wanderer,

onto a mountain.

 

God craves relationship.

 

But consider the invitation: “The LORD said unto Moses, ‘Come up to me onto the mountain, and be there” (12).

Be there? Of course I’ll be there. Where else would I be?

What a strange command.

(What an interesting God.)

 

But the word translated “be” is from the verb ha’yah, which means to abide/ remain/ be fully present.

 

God knew that as soon as one-hundred-year-old Moses made the long, arduous journey up the side of the mountain to the top, his mind would be racing with thoughts of getting back down. So God must remind him:

“Once you get up here, be here. Take control of your mind. Force yourself to be still. Focus on the moment. Be with me. Abide, remain, be fully present. Don’t blow this or waste it on meaningless worry that will cause you to miss the experience entirely.”

 

Does He say the same to you?

 

For all your worrying, all your anxiety, all your mind’s constant racing and habitual doubting, all your stresses and to-do lists and purposeless busy-ness,

are you risking missing this entire experience this side of heaven?

Your anxiety doesn’t help you.

A couple thousand years later Jesus would rhetorically ask His disciples “Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?” (Luke 12:25).

In my experience, it does the opposite.

 

Learn to be present. Learn to be here. Learn to remain and abide. Learn to enjoy the time you have this side of heaven. Use it to point to Him, don’t waste it by worrying.

In short, be still. Know that He is God. Take your comfort in that. Let Him do His job, and you just focus on being here.

One day this will all be over.

You won’t regret not having washed more dishes.

You’ll regret not having enjoyed more mountaintops with Yahweh.

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