by Rebecca Alpaugh
April 9, 2014
Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
When I went outside this morning for a walk, my surroundings seemed loud and chaotic. It felt like there were hundreds of birds chirping in loud dissonant voices. I could also hear traffic from the highway. As I began to walk I realized that there were just as many noises inside of my head. For me, my mind is the hardest part of myself to still.
In Sunday School this morning we talked about the numerous reasons for this inability to get the mind still. For many of us it is probably legitimate ADD. We can also blame it on technology: email, Facebook, Youtube, etc. There are too many ways for us to multitask!
However, after Robert’s prayer in church a couple of weeks ago I am feeling challenged to explore another reason. It fits right in with this whole Lent and discomfort theme. Allowing my mind to still can be uncomfortable. Stilling my mind means I have time to see and hear those excuses as they float through my head; excuses that keep me from making changes in my life that need to be made. If I can keep my mind busy enough I am able to hold on to the audio loops that tell me I am really not worthy of being loved, especially by the creator of the universe. If I keep those running I never have to begin that ministry to which God might be calling me. New things are uncomfortable. A quiet mind might let me forget my own list of complaints for a moment and see the inequality and injustice in the world that surrounds me. That is not comfortable. If I keep this mind running at warp speed I can safely and comfortably sit in my stagnant pond of muck.
So this morning, I walked and I breathed and prayed while still being interrupted by the noise in my head. But after about 20 minutes it seemed that the noise outside of my head was not as loud or as chaotic. The birds were still chirping but the sense of dissonance had lessened and even the traffic noise seemed softer. I wondered if there had really been a change in the noise surrounding me or was it because the noise in my head had been turned down by my conscious efforts to “know God.”
Now I must confess, by this afternoon I was back to the place where my mind was far away from still and filled with familiar noise. So alas, my journey continues as does my struggle with discomfort. But perhaps, I am facing the discomfort with a bit more honesty and a little less fear than I was at the beginning of Lent.
Loving God, Thank you for allowing me to be a part of a church where folks openly share their struggles and imperfections. Thank you for loving us even though we struggle and are imperfect. Help us to be still and know that you are God. Amen.