Opening Prayer: I have stilled and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. Amen.
Scripture: Psalm 131:1-3
Journal: Where in your life are you choosing busyness, frenzy, activity, and chaos, and where are you choosing to still and quiet your soul? Why?
Reflection: The stilled and quieted life is, first of all, a life. We cannot live a frenzied, hurried, chaotic existence for six days a week and think that the seventh would be any different. Our inner landscape is not made that way. The pace and the momentum of our lives will not allow it. You can’t drive up to a stop sign at 90 miles an hour and expect to be able to stop on a dime. Stopping is not that easy. It is not instantaneous. Stopping is a process, one that most often begins with slowing. Thus, it takes time and space and thoughtfulness and intention—and practice. Stopping requires discipline and commitment, and a change in the way we see and understand both our lives and our identities. It takes us accepting and embracing of who we are and who we aren’t. There can be no proving, earning, impressing, jockeying, or achieving in the stilled and quieted life. Those activities are incompatible with stillness and rest and peace. They stir up the waters of our soul and make them muddy again. Any little hint of movement in the direction of ambition and achievement causes enough commotion to make us have to start the whole slowing down and being still process all over again. The need to be big must die. The need to be great must be starved out. In other words, we must die to self, so that we may live unto, and into, God. Once we do, it will give birth to all that is good and beautiful: depth and quality and peace and humility and service and love. The choice is up to us. Will we choose the stilled and quieted life today, or will we continue to live a life that is consumed by hurry and commotion and fear and need and insecurity?
Closing Prayer: My heart is not lifted up, O Lord, my eyes are not raised too high. I do not concern myself with great matters, or things too wonderful for me. But I have stilled and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me. O Israel, put your hope in the Lord, in the now and forevermore. Amen.