Sunday, July 17, 2011

Be Still While Running

    I have not fallen off of the face of the earth but have been extremely busy. I have been preparing for Kaleidoscope which is a gathering of high school youth for a week of spiritual renewal and leadership development. This whole week I feel like I have been running. Running to and from work, to and from meetings, to and from houses. I have been dog sitting but today marks the final day. I will miss Toonie (the dog) but I am ready to be settled in one place, for good. 
    Kaleidoscope is held at a retreat center in Wasilla, AK. As I was in meetings about the event my anticipation has continued to build. This only happens once every three years and I happen to be on internship the year it takes place. It will be busy, tiring and rewarding. I am looking forward to the retreat myself and hope that in spite of  being a small group leader, lifeguard, and chaperon that I will have a chance for spiritual renewal myself. 
    This internship I LOVE! It is fast paced and something is always being prepared for or going on. I am reminded of Psalm 46:10...

“Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). God’s people are commanded to “be still” in this verse. The imperative gives a solemn duty to those in a covenant relationship with God — Israel in the Old Testament, but today, it is given to Christians (Galatians 3:26-29). What does it mean when God’s own are commanded to “be still”? The injunction is not given to restrict the mobility of God’s people. The duty represents a spiritual disposition that ought to characterize those to whom God’s unfailing promises have been given. Interestingly, “be weak” is here commanded. In other contexts, those who let their hands “drop” from work are condemned. Those who are disheartened are commanded to take courage. In contexts where “being still” is condemned, we find that certain obligations were being neglected, and God’s people were admonished to take initiative to fulfill their duties. Sadly, there are those who are far from “still”; they “do all the work” and give God none of the credit. They believe that by “lifting up their hands” and by “taking courage,” they can survive and thrive by the sweat of their own brow. They can do it all on their own, without any divine dependence. Here is the irony in this term “be still.” While we must take the initiative to fulfill our responsibilities and live our lives, the uncertainties of living in a world of sin and woe will continually challenge us. Personal initiative is no substitute for reliance upon God. This command — “be still” — forces us to think on two things: that we are finite, and that God is infinite. That being the case, we need to drop our hands, go limp, relax, and “chill out.” Spiritual serenity, the psalmist admits, ought to be cultivated in spite of the shaking mountains and agitated waters. This spiritual calm, that God commands, does not come from a lack of troubles; it derives from a steady, deep reflection on the ways God has intervened in history on behalf of his people. So as your world crumbles around you, the call from Scripture is: don’t flinch in faith in God. Stand still — not because of a self-made confidence, not because you are the most composed person in the face of disaster, not because “you’ve seen it all.” Be still because of what you know about God. It is “God’s past” that provides calm for “our future.” Know that he is God! Know it, not merely intellectually, but practically, spiritually, and emotionally. He is your God. He is the ruler of kingdoms of this earth and the all-powerful Creator of the Universe. If you are the last man or woman standing, be still. “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth do change” (Psalm 46:1-2a). Hallelujah! (taken from Jason Jackson's article in the Christian Courier)

Exciting posts coming in one week when I'm back from Kaleidoscope :) Check back later...

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