Today's Lectionary Text
“Be still, and know that I am God!
I am exalted among the nations,
I am exalted in the earth.”
Zipping around the hospital floors — 10, 9, 8, 7, 5, 4, and 3 — greeting new admits, deciding to take an extra lap every now and then. Up the step count. Pretty soon I’ve raised my heart rate, too. I’m getting it done, hurrying up to make progress.
All of a sudden, I realize I have become unaware — of these precious patients, of the awesome nurses and aides who care for them, of visiting family members and friends. The only thing that matter is getting it done. That is when I take a moment and say a few lines from a poem that has held great meaning for me for over 40 years.
“Slow me down, Lord!/ Ease the pounding of my heart/ By the quieting of my mind.”
Slow me down. God’s answer, “Be still and know that I am God.”
When we slow down, when we take some moments to be still, what happens? Perhaps we are more aware. More in touch with God, God as refuge (where we can be still), but also God as strength. During those moments of stillness, it is easier to be aware of the needs around us. Maybe that is when we notice those who are ill, those who are hungry, those who have no place to lay down comfortably at night, those whose arms and legs are colorful from bruises, those who are sad because a friend has died or a family member has disowned them.
Once we are more aware of the needs around us it becomes possible for us to find clarity about a place where we can make a faithful response. When we let our hearts slow down we can hear better.
This day do “Be still." Ask God to “Slow you down” and to “Ease the pounding of your heart.” Know where you can make a difference today and then do so.
Prayer for Reflection
Holy God, Slow me down. Make me aware. Empower me with strength for action. Amen