Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Stillness (2) Two ways

I was intrigued by the assertion that there are two ways to get through life.  People generally opt for one way or the other.

One way is to stop thinking.  To approach life with the minimum of thought, dismissing big questions about who they are, what life is about and what purpose they might have.  Some who reject Christian faith work out a pattern that gives enough satisfaction with friends, entertainment, family, interests that they can get by adequately.  Of course, pain and suffering will interrupt but they move on as quickly as they can past it to make the most of what they have.  Someone once said: 'I've heard you preachers talk about all of us having a 'God-shaped hole' in our lives.  That just isn't true for me.  I'm really satisfied with my life as it is.'  

But, interestingly, Christians can also share something of this philosophy.  With a surface level of Christian acceptance, they can actually work out a similar pattern that gives enough satisfaction with friends, entertainment, family, interests that gets by without too much serious thinking open to big questions and their significance for living in God's kingdom.

Thinking back to the last post, the classic way to stop thinking is to fill up every hour with stuff - Christian or not.  No stillness or silence possible with God.

The other way is to stop and think. To make time for the soul to be still and know God.  To take time out for thinking through big questions with God.  Listening for the still small voice (1 Kings 19:12).  In Scripture, in fellowship, in worship, by his Spirit he wants to help us live knowingly as his children, yet  within stillness we can go to very deep places with him. 

This remains a great challenge to me, a born activist. How much more does God want me to be? In this Fall term of intensive teaching at Northern Seminary,  I want to approach the days not in a constant rush but with more stillness.  I don't know what you face, but perhaps this makes sense for you too?

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