Beverly Hefner: Be Still
Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. - Ps. 4:4
Be still. Be quiet. Listen.
As a child, I can remember my parents saying each of these to me on various occasions. Often my mind seemed to be on another planet.
Now with my memory not quite as good as it used to be, things have become more difficult to comprehend even when my thoughts are focused. Often, although I am physically quiet, my mind is still in motion.
A plaque on my living room wall reads, “Be still, and know that I am God” from Psalm 46. Many times I fail to take on the first part. I work all day Monday through Friday so that takes care of the days. As far as evenings, I have classes on Monday and Tuesday, usually visit my parents on Wednesday, and get groceries on Friday. I enjoy spending time with my grandson on Saturdays, and try to see my parents on Sunday afternoon. That leaves Thursday nights to straighten up, do laundry and other things that are bidding for my time.
So when do I find the time to commune with God? On the road to work and back, washing dishes, walking across campus? Those are all good, but with so many other things within sight, sound, and reach, these are not the directly-focused times that I so desperately need in my one-on-one relationship with Him.
The rocking chair in my bedroom has become our regular meeting place. Whether it’s first thing in the morning, late in the evening, or during the day over the weekend, I simply close the door to keep out the noise, and try to spend the first thirty minutes just listening. I am finally learning that if I allow my mind to blot out the noises and thoughts, I am much more likely to get the message. It has taken me years to do what I’ve always known is right, and it is something I still need to work on each day.
I do not always succeed. I have found, however, that nothing is better than truly listening. My Lord desires that; I desperately need it.
Bev Hefner is a layperson at Friendship UMC in Newton, N.C.