Silence and Simplicity by Judy Dudich

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This past Sunday, our pastor told us, “Don’t just do something…sit there!”

In putting this little twist into an otherwise common saying…Father was encouraging us to allow ourselves to be “Mary” as often as we are “Martha”.

Jesus instructed us to love God and love others…and never once did He say those two things in the reverse order. Loving God is always first…loving others follows and springs forth from our love of God.

But if we are always busy, always moving, always doing…and yes…even…always serving…and we do not take time to “sit at His feet”…then all of our good intentions and actions have been in vain, for we are missing a significant part of our journey toward holiness, toward Sainthood, and toward Heaven!

Many are familiar with Psalm 46:10 which says “Be still and know that I am God”.
Now, the Lord could have simply said, “Know that I am God”…but He didn’t. He prefaced that with an instruction…”Be still”. In conjunction with that, He also did not merely tell us to “Be still”…but that in being still…we can then know that He is God.

Have you ever noticed that when you feel stressed, busy, out of sorts, anxious, worried, frightened, or angry…you feel distanced from God…or, if you’re facing a crisis situation, you might even feel that He has distanced Himself from you…(even though you know deep in your heart that He hasn’t)…and have you further noticed…that if you can round up the wherewithal to do so…and you step aside for a few moments, to take a few deep breaths…to find a bit of solitude…to enter a quiet room…or to step outside in the fresh air…almost immediately, you can sense His presence there with you? It’s almost as though we can sigh and say, “Ahhhh, yes….there You are, Lord…I can feel You now.”

Well, that’s not mere coincidence…there is a direct correlation between the stillness and the silence and your ability to hear God’s voice and feel His presence.

The same holds true for simplicity…though Our Creator is a very complex, intricate, master-mind designer…He is also a lover of order…and natural, simple things. In fact, because He is God…He is able to be both complex and simple simultaneously…Take, for instance, looking at a single flower…one, simple, single flower…it’s small, it’s lovely, it smells nice….it’s natural…and yet, at the same time, the magnificence and unfathomable splendor of a mighty and powerful God exists before your very eyes…one small flower yields the unending amazement and awe of Creation….but would you even notice it during a busy, fast-paced, noisy day?

Hence the reason for Father’s quirky instruction to us: “Don’t just do something…sit there.”
For it is in the contemplative nature of silence and simplicity that we can “tune in” and “connect with” Our Lord…Our King…Our Savior…Our Father…The Spirit.

Then, and only then, with things in the right order (love God, then others) we are able to take action…and out of our contemplation…we can reach out and love…and serve…in His Name.

Finding it hard to slow down? Feeling like you are “wasting time” or being “unproductive” if you don’t have a meeting, an event, a phone call to make, or a list of things to do?

Try silence and simplicity for a change:

* Plant a few herbs in the kitchen and use them in your cooking

* Sweep the porch, hang clothes outdoors instead of using the dryer, gather some wildflowers for your table

* Set some bird-seed out and then take a few moments each day to sit and welcome the feathered visitors to your yard

* Listen to an inspirational music cd or pray along with one that shares devotions

* Write something…a letter…a poem…a song…a prayer…leave your comfort zone and “speedy” way of doing things through email and cell phones and computers….and stretch yourself a little further…tap into your own God-given creativity…don’t judge yourself…don’t limit yourself…don’t doubt yourself…just write something.

* Try to sew, crochet, cross-stitch, sketch, paint, or sculpt something out of clay

* Do like my pastor says, and just sit there!

Open your mind and heart to God today through silence and simplicity…you will be blessed.

Copyright 2010 Judy Dudich

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