I recently read a book, AHA: The God moment that changes everything by Kyle Idleman. There is actually one sentence that hit my attention: “The definition of stillness is silence on the outside and surrender on the inside” (Idleman, 2014, paraphrased).
According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, the word still is defined as: uttering no sound and free from noise and turbulence. From the definitions we can sum it up that still is the state when one is not only uttering no sound but also free from noise or turbulence. Uttering no sound refers to being silent, calm, tranquil. Free from noise or turbulence refers to shutting all the noises up and getting free from them.
Such a pricy and profound definition!
However, the fact that we are living in a busy noisy world, it’s a little hard to be still. Our gadgets pop up recent updates like nearly every one second. Not only being distracted by the popping updates from our gadgets, we also have got those noisy voices of worries, doubts, cares and assumptions dancing and spinning around our head. We are also trapped in the endless grooves of day to day life. There seems to be too many things to do but too little time to get them done.
Being still is some kind of a luxury we just cannot afford in our world today. We have been oscillating around all the same efforts to help ourselves over and over again but are still deeply and desperately sunk in depressions with no room for solutions. We cry out to God, “Where are you, God? I am drowned in despair but you don’t seem to show up for help.” Or we may question, “Is God really there to help? Why doesn’t He seem to answer my prayers?”
The definition of stillness brought me to this conclusion: We have been expecting too much from God what we actually failed to do.
We want God to answer our prayers. We want God to speak to us the way we want Him to. At the very core, we want to hear His voice, we desperately want to. But what happens oftentimes is heartbreaking that God does not seem to say a word, He does not seem to answer us in our troubles. It’s not that He does not speak loud enough, it’s us who fail to shut the noises up.
Can you imagine talking to someone who is listening to some music loudly through earphones? You have tried speaking louder but the person still does not seem to hear you. It’s not that your voice isn’t loud enough to be heard, it’s his ears are captivated by the loud music he’s listening through the earphones.
God speaks to us every day, as frequently as the popping updates on our gadgets, as frequently as we’re overwhelmed with our own thoughts. The problem is not His voice or His faithfulness. The problemis our own self. The coming voices of God are blocked by the voices of our own head.
So, what now?
In the midst of our busy day, take some time to be still. Really be still that we do not only shut our mouth up from saying too many things, but also surrender on the inside. Shut our gadgets down for some time alone with God. Shut all the noises inside our head and take some time to listen to what God’s got to say. It takes a commitment and it’s worth trying.
“Be still and know that I am God!” -Psalm 46:10 (NLT).