We try to do everything humanly possible to avoid sitting in stillness. The aspect of stillness terrifies us because with stillness comes silence. In silence, there are no distractions, no running, no ability to shove down and avoid having to face the thoughts/feelings/emotions or whatever it is that we are so desperately trying to run from.
Finding God in the stillness
When we are met with silence, we assume that nothing is happening, but that is often when God is working on something greater. In one of the books in the Bible, the prophet Elijah after killing the pagan gods of Queen Jezebel has to go on the run when she discovers what he had done. Elijah escapes to a cave and, while there, begins to remind God that he acted out of faithfulness to God’s law.
During his conversation with God, there was a lot of noise outside the cave because of an earthquake and violent storms. A fire even broke out in the midst of it, but Elijah wasn’t focused on the things happening outside; he was in the presence of the LORD and waited to hear the still, small voice that comes with being quiet.
The art of listening: How stillness speaks
When we embrace stillness and silence, we are no longer limited by our thinking mind, suffering and pain disappear, and we are able to move forward towards a new understanding of our relationships, of nature, and of the profound wisdom that is to be found in stillness.
Here are 6 reasons why stillness can be the answer to move you forward:
Silence is an excellent teacher.
We are trained to listen to what we have, not what we hoped to have. We are where we are because of what we have listened to. Noise keeps us distracted; we all have tools of technology that are designed to increase communication, yet they are training us to hear but learn less.
Outside noises, such as getting ready for Christmas, the loss of a friend, and the loss of clients, can interrupt our thought patterns and best next steps. Learn to sit down and be quiet and write down your thoughts. Stillness teaches you the best way to communicate with others. It also teaches you your pattern. Patterns such as the right time to think, learn, pray, and listen to that still small voice.
Have you ever noticed a baseball player at bat? He positions himself firmly, takes a step, focuses on the umpire, and then takes a breath before swinging the bat. Look for the calm in the seconds when you can breathe and focus on the moment.
Stillness breeds creativity.
Whether you are an artist, counselor, consultant, teacher, CEO, or builder, silence gives you time to tap into your creative side; stillness speaks. It helps you assess the questions you should ask, the colors you should choose, and the phone calls you should make to be more effective in your craft.
Silence is a listening tool.
Learning to listen helps you hear what others are saying, not what you think they are saying.
Stillness creates awareness.
It elevates focus and brings you to the present for not only yourself but for others around you. Stillness creates deeper levels of relationship with those that may need your presence, not just your advice. It helps you develop a greater relationship with yourself, and opens the door to reflection, recognizing your mistakes, owning them, and moving on to a better version of yourself.
Silence is strategic.
Be the lamb while having a lion’s heart; leadership is not just a series of flashy events and circumstances. Let your leadership be in humility coupled with strength and power. Be the kind of leader who is strong and gentle at the same time.
Conclusion: The answers you seek can be found in the stillness
It takes courage to get quiet, to wait for the answer. As human beings, we want to know right now; it’s our nature. We don’t want to wait for the outcome because it takes patience, and that is often the hardest part.
Stillness speaks volumes if we let it – if we slow down to listen to that still small voice within us. There is power in stillness and knowledge in silence. Nature has a way of teaching us what we need to learn. We must allow ourselves to sit in stillness with it. Your truth tends to get clouded with all the noise and distractions that are constantly happening in the world. But it’s in this stillness you will meet the parts of you that you’ve been relentlessly searching for.