The canceled workshop continues today. I am choosing to see this opportunity as a way for God to train me in topics I need to understand better.
Lesson #1 Use discretion in speaking in public
I have overheard more phone conversations in the past couple of days that I can possibly relay here. People talking on the phone while using the bathroom (talk about hands-free). This morning Nathan and I sat at a table next to ‘Jane’ who came to Detroit to drive to Flint to be in court on Thursday with her son ‘Jason’ who was stabbed and left for dead last year. She works as a lobbyist for ‘ABC’ who is seeking to legalize marijuana on the Caribbean isle of ‘DEF’. She has a meeting with a senator next week to discuss her group’s plans. Tourists will come to ‘DEF’ because it is legal to purchase and use marijuana (for medical purposes only of course). If you are going to talk in public and go into that kind of detail you should probably be in your room or something. Yikes!
Lesson #2 Being Still
I have read all the books I brought, bought another one and have time to sit and stare at the wall and think. Psalm 46:10 came to mind. “Be still and know that I am God.” The Hebrew word ‘Be still,’ (raphah) it turns out refers to that which is slack. It means, “let it drop,” or in some instances, to be disheartened or weak. It is translated in some places as “cease striving,” and is good advice for stranded travellers.
Chill out. There is a time lag between your mind saying, “relax there is nothing for you to do but wait,” and actually relaxing in any meaningful way. Raphah also refers, in some contexts to the cessation of hostilities in a time of war. My reflections have centered around that thought. What battles am I fighting? What struggles am I in?
One battle I have been waging has been against God Himself. I know the great value and the necessity of daily prayer but I have been struggling against this for a long time. God’s word to me has been, let it drop. Be still.
The ‘know’ part of Psalm 46:10 is an accepting of fellowship. To know who God is involves releasing to God that which is His: His perogative to plan and provide. His agenda to form and to shape. Easily said, not so easily done.
The paradox of this is in the appearance of rest. Lots of well-meaning type-B people will say to me, “just relax,” but that is not what is involved in “being still.” Being still and knowing that God is who He says He is, is a very destabilizing thing. I am very content to remain busy. I find running 100 miles an hour in three different directions very soothing in fact. God’s rest is exhausting; at least at first.
Don’t get me wrong, I admit that my striving is a ‘broken cistern’ (Jeremiah 2), a source of water that ultimately fails. God’s rest is a refreshing stream that will never fail,but resting in God’s provision requires some breaking of the will that is hard, hard work.
I am, therefore, spending today trying very hard to relax.