“Q” is for Quiet (March 7, 2013)

…Opening To…

O Lord, you are my Lord and my God, and I have never seen you. You have made and remade me and bestowed on me all the good that I possess. (St. Anselm, Proslogion)

…Listening In…

For God alone my soul in silence waits; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold, so that I shall not be greatly shaken. (Psalm 62:1-2; context)

…Filling Up…

This Lent, we are exploring our faith by running through the alphabet. Today, “Q” is for Quiet. Here’s something I didn’t know before researching today’s word. “Quiet” has its origins in a Middle English word that means “peace” in the sense of  “not war.” There’s a book by a German soldier who fought in World War I called “Nothing New in the West” (In Westen nichts Neues) that, when translated into English in 1930 became “All Quiet on the Western Front.” During World War I, the German and Allied sides dug in across northern France for years with little movement either way, despite the appalling loss of life.

This understanding of “quiet” as the opposite of war (or to take it out of the military connotation, of noise or action) connotes that quiet is a lack of something. “Be quiet!” means “Stop talking!” “Quiet as a mouse” means “Making so little sound as to be nearly inaudible.” But quiet as a lack of something misses the profound something-ness that can be found when all is quiet. Being quiet doesn’t simply mean making no noise. Rather, being quiet means allowing silence to fill you so that distraction finds no purchase.

When we pray, one of the most effective things we can ask of God is to give our souls stillness, to quiet our minds, to bring peace to our hearts, so that we can simply be in the presence of God with neither agenda nor distraction. If you take a survey of the Psalms, a good number of them have a verse or two that asks God to do just this. So the next time you are running around doing about seventeen things at once, take a deep breath and bring yourself to a place of quietness. And then you may notice God filling you and bringing you stillness and peace.

…Praying For…

Dear God, you are the source of all good things that fill me up. Help me to be still and know that you are God. Help me to find a place of quiet within where I can go to find renewal and peace. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, grateful for the word that you speak daily into my soul, the word that continues to create me and helps me to grow.

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