When was the last time you really felt it? It may have been so long ago that you might not even remember. And if you’re 30 or younger, you may not even know what I’m talking about…because you’ve been too busy texting to think about it!
Stillness: What is it?
It’s when you silence your smart phone, shut the cover on your laptop, let your tablet go dark, and, after you do all that, finally stop wondering what you’re missing. It’s about quieting thought.
Stillness: It’s an art.
I recently read a book with that title: The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere by Pico Iyer. In it, Iyer tells readers, “Researchers in the new field of interruption science have found that it takes an average of twenty-five minutes to recover from a phone call. Yet such interruptions come every eleven minutes—which means we’re never caught up with our lives.” The fact that there is a field of interruption science should show us that we do need more stillness in the world today!
Stillness: Your best defense.
Even animals know it. I walked by a rabbit the other day, and it didn’t move a muscle; it didn’t blink an eye; it didn’t twitch an ear. It knew stillness was its best defense. Stillness is your best defense, too. When your thought is quiet and still you can feel God’s presence. You can hear His voice mentally. It leads you out of distraction or confusion and into just the right decision, or the best relationship, or the most peaceful solution in a harried situation.
Stillness: Where God’s voice is heard.
The Bible tells of the prophet Elijah running for his life from queen Jezebel. (See 1 Kings, chapter 19.) He hid in a cave on the top of a mountain. He didn’t have a smart phone, but the threats of his enemy were definitely a challenge to his stillness. Then, on top of that, a great shrieking wind came along. After that, an earthquake. Then, a raging fire tore through the mountain. But, Elijah discovered that God couldn’t be heard in any of this noisy turmoil. Not in Jezebel’s threats, and not in any of the destruction around him. About that time came a still, small voice. Elijah recognized God’s voice in the stillness. And his example is a promise that each of us can, too.
Stillness: Where serenity is found.
Some years ago, there was a Seinfeld episode in which George’s dad was having some heart issues. The doctor told him that every time he was upset, he needed to tap into calmness and serenity. In true Seinfeld form, we see George’s dad meeting every stressful moment by gritting his teeth and yelling, “SERENITY NOW! SERENITY NOW!” This episode was all in good fun. But it’s also a reminder that you can’t find serenity just by repeating words, or by looking for it on the surface of things. Stillness comes from deep within. It’s a state of thought that has everything to do with what’s going on within you, and is not affected by what is going on around you. No matter how stressful your day becomes, serenity is attainable now.
Stillness: Its source is Divine.
In the study of Christian Science, another name for God is Mind. And since there’s only one God, (See Isaiah 45:5,6.) it makes sense that there is only one Mind. Mind, being God, Spirit, is always generating peace, calm, stillness. But, what about all the distractions and chaos we seem to encounter each day? On page 113 of Mary Baker Eddy’s Miscellaneous Writings, she says, “He who refuses to be influenced by any but the divine Mind, commits his way to God, and rises superior to suggestions from an evil source.” It is only the belief that there can be another mind that makes us feel tumultuous and unsettled. Sticking with the fact that there is only one source of thinking—God—no matter what is going on around you, mentally lifts you above the suggestion that chaos is real and overwhelming.
Stillness: With God, your only option.
The next time your smart phone is notifying you to the point of distraction, or the news feed on your laptop is pulling you down with moment-by-moment details of every world crisis, or even if the neighbor dog’s incessant barking makes you want to yell, “SERENITY NOW! SERENITY NOW!” remember that divine Mind is causing every thought. Because of that, stillness is your only option.
Stillness: Psalm 23 in the Bible is the perfect example. Click here to read it on my mountaintop moments page.
I hope these insights will inspire readers to think more spiritually about themselves and the world around them!