To pause and reflect feels like time out in a corner until my mind stops fidgeting and chewing its nails. Selah is a discipline, and it’s a tough one. I prefer the distracted life of cell phones, facebook, magazines, news, shopping and even cleaning the kitchen, to “Be Still and Know”. Our culture sees no value in reflection or meditation, unless it’s a class to take, complete with special clothes, an inbred philosophy and a certain striving to attain.
I say I’d love a day to just sit and read, and once in a while I do, when an external circumstance forces it-sickness, for example. But even reading is not equal to Selah. To lay down my mind, turn off all radio frequencies of the brain, stop flipping the cerebral channels-well, I fight that.
My Amish friend Ada explains the reasoning behind the seemingly ridiculous regulations of her culture- things like riding in a horse and buggy instead of a car, not having phones in the house (she can, however, have one in the corner of her acreage), and the taboo on technology. She said, “The faster one travels through life-whether mentally or physically- the less they will see of creation and the less they will consider their Creator“. Wow. Pause and Reflect. Ada, do you mean to say there is some higher calling than efficiency, something greater than “getting it done in record time?”
The Lord has trouble getting a word in edgewise. He has to impress His thoughts on me in the sliver of time allowed, which is 4:30 to 5:00 a.m., when I’m coming out of twilight sleep, but not awake enough have engaged the brain in any chatter. I used to think He spoke loud and clear, now I realize it’s just seems that way because I’m not speaking at that time, which helps Him out. A lot. He doesn’t have to interrupt me.
Lately, I’m trying to Selah. I tackle my brain the same way I get my three-year-old grandchild ready for the swimming pool: Stand still. Stop wiggling. Let Go. Listen. Use walking feet. Obey the Life Guard. Whew! How does God do it?
Maybe I should try to help Him. I think I can stand still- Be Still– if I practice. But like my grandson, I’m gonna have to try it in short time segments throughout the day- kind of like a Selah Preschool. That’s okay. My grandson will not always be three. He’ll learn to listen. Maybe we can learn together.
For thus says the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel: “In returning and rest you shall be saved; In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.” But you would not…Isa 30:15