“Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
“Whoever has ears, let them hear.” Matthew 11:15 and Mark 4:9
Being still and listening are often two of the most under-utilized skills in our busy and talk-filled world. We live in a culture that values productivity and working hard to attain one’s goals. And we are a people with lots of ideas and opinions that we want to share with conviction. And yet, we also find ourselves craving more silence – more room to just “be” and to listen for God’s voice for guidance, inspiration and hope. This is true for adults and believe it or not, it’s true for teenagers too.
Last Sunday the WCUC Youth Group traveled to Cambridge to experience a Quaker meeting. In this tradition, worship consists of a one hour meeting of sitting together in silence with intermittent sharing from people in the community who are moved by the Spirit to offer inspired wisdom. While sitting still for a whole hour proved challenging for the teens (and some of the adults too!), many of them expressed an appreciation for the silence and noted how different it was from our everyday lives. Some of them also commented how their recent exposure to Mindfulness and Meditation in our youth and confirmation classes, reminded them to focus on their breath as a way of quieting the mind and stilling the body. It is in these moments of rest, as we empty the mind and open our hearts, that we sometimes hear God’s voice the loudest. May we all find more opportunities for stillness and for listening so that we can hear what the Spirit is saying. -Joyce