Be still, and know that I am God… Psalms 46:10
During this time of Advent, a season for preparation and waiting, we are encouraged to be still, to meditate, and to ponder on Jesus’ birth and his second coming. Does this spiritual expectation seem oxymoronic when juxtaposed with our Western version of Christmas? How many people in our culture do you know who are quietly reflecting on and anticipating December 25?
Several weeks ago, I heard Dr. Gordon T. Smith talk about the vocational holiness to which God calls each of us in our pursuit of spiritual growth. He defined vocational holiness as “what God calls each of us to do” in our individual lives “without frenetic busy-ness.” Moving about our individual, daily calling peacefully instead of the feverish distraction that often characterizes our days.
I’ve often jokingly said that a discovery I made years ago radically changed my life, and that was that Christmas comes on December 25 EVERY YEAR. That allows me to begin planning weeks and months in advance of the holiday so that by the time of Advent I can begin to quietly reflect on Jesus and my journey with him.
It’s not just the Christmas season that finds us frenetic. Can you think of other times where you’re frantically pursuing your calling, always seeming to be behind the almighty schedule, always mastered by the unrelenting clock? (My African friends tell me that we have watches while they have time.)
A good resolution for the New Year might be to ponder what being still and living in peace would look like in our lives. How would that manifest itself in our holy vocations? Apparently, the reward for stillness is “knowing.”
Father, set us free from the stress and anxiety that is often the product of our own frenzy. Teach us to be quiet and to wait on you. In Jesus’ name. AMEN.