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Being Still

Updated: Apr 7, 2022

I really enjoy Taizé worship. I can still remember the first time I attended a Taizé service. I had no idea what to expect. Walking in, the first thing I saw were signs requesting silence. I was handed a bulletin and a candle then I entered the large, dimly lit chapel. As I waited for the service to begin, I looked through the bulletin. The very first thing I noticed was 10 minutes of silence near the end of the service. I was already feeling a little anxious about entering in silence, and I was trying my best to be silent and not obsess about it, and now I was invited to sit in silence for 10 minutes! 10 minutes is a L-O-N-G time.

I did make it though the entire service, even the 10 minutes of silence. I loved the repetitive songs and chants that calmed my stressed mind, I felt the prayers were an extension of my thoughts and concerns and I engaged a real connection with God. During the time of silence, did I immerse myself in complete silence and really connect with the Spirit, or listen for direction in my life?? To be honest, my mind kept wandering. I heard every noise that every person made during that time, a cough, a paper shuffle, a squeak of the pew. I kept wondering when the 10 minutes would be over. Finally, I told myself to let go of my attitude, pull up my big girl pants, and experience the moment. How often did I take time to just listen, be present in the moment, and let go of control? Here was a chance to do that, so let’s do it! But I was too late, the time came to an end just as I was starting to embrace it.

Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God”

Years ago, I was listening to an interview with Joni Eareckson Tada, a Christian speaker and writer. She was talking about the importance of prayer, and what she felt was even more important - our listening. We ask, share, and even plead in our prayers, and we question how or when will our prayers be answered. She asked this question of her listeners, “Do you sit in silence listening for a response after you pray?”

Psalm 46:10 “Be Still”

I have since learned (slowly but surely) to embrace the 10 minutes of silence. I now sit in silence after my prayers most days. I also set aside time most days to spend some time meditating in various ways, being still and respecting the moment that I have been gifted. It took some time and effort to get to this point in my life.

Psalm 46:10 “Be”

This Lenten season I invite you to find some time each day (Maybe just 10 minutes!) to follow the verse from Psalms “Be still and know that I am God”. Think about the best way to be still, is it sitting or lying down? Is it in silence or with soft music? Is it in nature or your bedroom? Breathe slowly and deeply and let go of everything weighing you down, focus on your breath. In and out, in and out, be still in the moment and spend some time with God.

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