Work To Be Still

I was preparing to wash our family van…not the little mini-van but our big 15 passenger van
that has the duty of driving us all over the United States. I grabbed my bucket, soap, towels and glass cleaner. I knew that I was in for a looong process of scrubbing off smeared bug juice and cleaning up petrified French fries and old soda pop spills.

As I gathered all the necessary cleaning tools, I instinctively grabbed my phone as well. “What purpose does my phone have in helping me clean a way overdue, road weary van”, I thought to myself? “I NEED it to keep me preoccupied; my music, my favorite sermons…it will make the time go much faster.” As, I pulled the garden hose closer to the van, I began to talk to myself, rather than just listen to myself. “Leave the phone in your pocket and just be quiet, be ‘still’ and listen as you clean the van.”

You have to realize, I don’t like cleaning THAT van. It is big and dirty from a lot of purposeful
neglect. I wanted something to get my mind off of the task ahead. Ever been there? I needed
my music or a sermon to fill my mind and keep me from realizing how long it would take to
wash this big white monster, we call our “family car”.

As I hosed down the van, I kept my phone in my pocket and reflected on how often we fill our
minds with everything but silence. We like to keep busy; keep moving. We live in a time when we can choose from a plethora of entertainment and information mediums. We NEVER have to be alone or quiet or still.

As a result we miss out on experiencing something very important…The Presence of God! God becomes a tag-along buddy that we acknowledge when we need something from Him. The voice of God is “silenced” by all the noise, all the “good things”, all the clutter of our modern world.

With sweat dripping down my forehead, as I cleaned the inside windows of the van, I was
experiencing the quietness and presence of God. Spontaneous prayer and thanksgiving poured forth from my lips. Though I was working, I was STILL…listening…praying…worshiping. My phone was silenced and a non-issue at this point. No need for music, sermons, videos or news. God?…yes! One my favorite dead preachers, Charles Spurgeon said this:

“There are times when solitude is better than society, and silence is wiser than speech. We
should be better Christians if we were more alone, waiting upon God, and gathering through
meditation on His Word spiritual strength for labour in his service. We ought to muse upon the things of God, because we thus get the real nutriment out of them. . . . Why is it that some Christians, although they hear many sermons, make but slow advances in the divine life? Because they neglect their closets, and do not thoughtfully meditate on God's Word. They love the wheat, but they do not grind it; they would have the corn, but they will not go forth into the fields to gather it; the fruit hangs upon the tree, but they will not pluck it; the water flows at their feet, but they will not stoop to drink it. From such folly deliver us, O Lord. . . .”

May we all learn to be still and wait upon God. May we learn the hard work of meditating on
His Word and on His Majesty, and we can join king David in saying:

“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.”

Psalm 62:5 (ESV)