I love Spring. It’s my favorite season. The world starts to wake up from its winter slumber. Daffodils poke their heads up, trees bud and flower, life stirs. And for some odd reason, we often feel drawn toward cleaning out, cleaning up, and bringing order to chaos. Ah, yes. Tis the season for spring cleaning.
For many of us, life is usually such a whirlwind of activity that there isn’t room or time to really get things in order. We’re too busy, too rushed, overcommitted and stretched thin. But what if someone called a big time out? What if life slowed down? What if I got stuck in my house for a couple of weeks because of a worldwide pandemic? Oh yeah, here’s comes the silver lining to COVID19!!
And what if, just maybe, this big time out actually contains an invitation for us. What if it’s an opportunity to look at how we live, what we value, where our priorities lie? Maybe it affords us time to learn stillness and contemplation. Those tend to be lost arts in this day and age. And perhaps, in our newfound stillness, we find ourselves face to face with God.
It’s interesting that scripture never says, “be busy and know that I am God”. Rather, it is a call to stillness. “My soul, be quiet before God, for from him comes my hope. “ (Psalm 62:5 International Standard Version) In the quiet, we can actually hear God speak. In the stillness, we can feel the breeze of His presence and the warmth of His embrace.
I’ll be very honest and say that stillness did not come naturally to me. When God first asked me to try it, I thought He was trying to kill me. I fidgeted and squirmed, and protested and walked away. I couldn’t hear a thing, feel a thing, sense a thing. So I fidgeted some more and got straight on to the “weeping and gnashing of teeth” phase. But God insisted, and so I tried again, and again, and again. Until stillness actually came. And then so did God, and He brought peace with Him, and companionship, revelation and life. And all of the sudden my soul understood the value of stillness and the wisdom of a God who knew that I needed it even when I couldn’t see it.
So here is your invitation, from a God who knows you, loves you, and wants your company:
‘Arise, my love, my fair one,
And come away.
‘For behold, the winter is past,
The rain is over and gone.
‘The flowers appear on the earth once again;
The time for singing has come,
And the voice of the turtledove is heard in our land.
‘The fig tree has budded and ripens her figs,
And the vines are in blossom and give forth their fragrance.
Arise, my love, my fair one,
And come away [to climb the rocky steps of the hillside].’”
“O my dove, [here] in the clefts in the rock,
In the sheltered and secret place of the steep pathway,
Let me see your face,
Let me hear your voice;
For your voice is sweet,
And your face is lovely.”
Song of Songs 2: 10-14