Rethinking Stillness

This week we begin rethinking the meaning of stillness for our quest of a practical faith and tangible hope in 2017. In looking back over the past year, we’ve learned that a dynamic and vibrant faith must be earnestly sought; in other words, we must be desperate for God. For the last five months we’ve discussed how important the heart attitude or “posture” of spiritual brokenness is for nurturing a lifestyle of holy desperation. Now we turn to the posture of stillness. Why is such a posture so important?

Due to the technological, recreational, and financial opportunities prevalent in western society we’ve been culturally conditioned to favor noise and busyness over silence and stillness. So, while twenty-four hour news-sports-entertainment and instant internet access represent a high tech cultural matrix of incredible opportunities they are usually not the type that support the kind of stillness we suggest.

Ironically, silence is more often associated with something being wrong than right or broken than whole. Therefore, it’s not surprising that our lifestyles of distraction drown out the ever-present voice of Christ quietly inviting us to come and receive the very life we’ve so frantically and fruitless sought to secure.

The posture of stillness guards our flow of activity, no longer passively allowing the tyranny of the urgent to rule our days. No, through this posture we learn to wisely steward our time and energy so that God’s Sabbath rest can finally restore and renew us from the inside out. However, such a posture does not come without cost . . . it can be painful. In this place of stillness we are pierced with the truth that our security is only found in God. We must relinquish all the empty substitutes we’ve learned to trust and finally admit they’ve not been able to deliver what they had promised all along. Here we shockingly discover,

The place of stillness is a mirror

Reflecting the condition of our soul,

For our busyness has blinded us to what has grown . . .

A dark vast hole!

Finally, it’s important to understand that when we speak of the posture of stillness we’re not speaking of a place to which we escape to hide from the busyness and stresses of life. We are not seeking stillness to run from the world but to run towards God. In this place we mentally shove aside our own thoughts and imaginations to meditate on God’s Word, thus allowing space for the Holy Spirit to speak into our lives.

Here, we discover that the words which capture our hearts are the words that rule our lives . . . leaving us either peacefully content or restlessly anxious. Through the posture of stillness we train our hearts to be rightly subdued and wholly content. Next week we launch into our new theme of stillness with our next animated poem, Chapel of My Heart.

 


What Do You Think?

Does the idea of stillness or solitude make you feel uncomfortable? Can you see how this posture might be helpful for your faith? How so?


 

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Author: David Trementozzi

David Trementozzi is married to his wife, Emily and they have three children—Judah, Kaleb, and Halle. David likes to write on topics related to Christian faith and their contemporary theological relevance. He has a B.A. in Psychology (Messiah College), Masters of Divinity, and Ph.D in Theology (Regent University). David is currently a professor of Theology at Continental Theological Seminary in Brussels, Belgium. To learn more about David, go to the About David page above.