'Be still and know that I am God...'

Wednesday Reflection

10 June 2020

Psalm. 46v10

This is one of my favourite verse.
How often do I have to tell myself to slow down, be still- and if I don't, others will !
It's difficult in the hectic pace of today's world, there are always pressures on our time,
from family, work or other commitments.
Yet one, perhaps good thing that has come from this Corvid 19 pandemic
is that we have been forced to change our life styles,
to slow down and perhaps take stock of our lives,
to find out just what is really important.
To realise we are not invincible,
in fact we are quite vulnerable and cannot rely on our own strength,
sometimes we are not in control - scary.
But take heart, there is someone much greater on whom we can rely.
Paul sums it up perfectly in his second letter to the Corinthians;

9 But he [Jesus] said to me,
'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses,
so that Christ's power may rest on me.
10 That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses,
in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.
For when I am weak, then I am strong. 12:9-10

There is a worship song by Luke Parker called, 'Sweet surrender'.
The first line is 'In my weakness, you are strong.'
When you have a spare moment, it can be found on YouTube,
sit and be still, allow it to calm and transport you.
Revel in the 'shalom' God longs to bring to you.
A peace that passes understanding, a peace that the world cannot give.
A peace that is more than caseation of noise or strife;
it is a peace which brings love, joy, happiness and wholeness of body, mind and spirit.

I would like to share with you a prayer/poem which is a particular favourite of mine.
I used it frequently in meditation sessions I held in the prison Chaplaincy.
It became a favourite of the men too.
It was written by the American author Wilfred Arlan Peterson -(1900-1995)

Slow Me Down, Lord
Ease the pounding of my heart by the quieting of my mind.
Steady my hurried pace.
Give me, amidst the day's confusion,
the calmness of the everlasting hills.
Break the tensions of my nerves and muscles
with the soothing music of singing streams that live in my memory.
Help me to know the magical, restoring power of sleep.
Teach me the art of taking "minute vacations"...
slowing down to look out at the sky (1),
to chat with a friend, to read a few lines from a good book.
Remind me of the fable of the hare and the tortoise;
that the race is not always to the swift;
that there is more to life than measuring its speed.
Let me look up at the branches of the towering oak
and know that it grew slowly and well.
Inspire me to send my own roots down deep into the soil of life's endearing values..
that I may grow toward the stars of my greater destiny.
Slow me down, Lord.

nb. (1) The original said 'a flower' but there weren't many flowers to be seen in prison
but there were windows through which we could see the sky!

If you feel you just don't have the time to 'be still',
even a few brief moments is enough to get you started.

Remember Susanna Wesley, mother of John and Charles,
who raised 10 children; when stressed and in need of prayer,
wherever she was, she stopped,
covered her head with her apron so that she could spend a few moments with God
(the children knew not to disturb her).

May you find an oasis of peace in your day to refresh and reinvigorate your soul.