Today's prayer prompt comes from Psalm 46:10- Be still, and know that I am God.
As I prepared to begin my prayer time, my husband called me to the window by our birdfeeder with the incongruous phrase- "Come quick, there is something you want to see, but be still." There was a glimpse of the first goldfinch of the season and for a moment I remembered being in summer Greek three and half years ago and walking the battlefield with Greek flash cards intently practicing when I was disrupted by the most exuberant bird song and looked to see the flutterings of many goldfinches who had found the perfect patch of thistle and were calling out to each other and clearly rejoicing. I stood still, and just soaked in their thanksgiving and remembered that there is more than just the frenetic to-do list. Oh, to be a happy sated finch sitting on a clump of thistle with friends just riding the movement of a breeze!
So today's finch comes as I travel to Philadelphia Seminary later today to meet and interview with Region 7 bishops along with over twenty others, and it will conclude with learning which synod will be home and which bishop will be mine. All of us traveling from across the country, with directions, and itineraries and expectations and paperwork and questions.
I think it is not without purpose that this morning I saw a finch and read "Be still." Just as those August finches caught me off guard and made me recalibrate, today's unexpected finch has done the same, which was an excellent segue into the prayer time directive of "spend 10 minutes in silence...relax...let thoughts come and go...prayers for stillness and grounding."
Be still and know that I am God
Be still, be still, be still
Wait, that seems like my mantra of being still
Is thinly disguised "doing" not "being."
But then, as I slowly inhale and exhale
I hear you, as you place your hands on my shoulders
And comfort me with your words- Be Still
I am God
We who have been raised in a "Protestant work ethic"
Who can not fathom a "being ethic."
We of the "action/reflection" mindset
Who tirelessly explore knowing ourselves
yet are never quite sure
and never quite at peace with it.
You remind me how often all I hear is my own voice.
And it is when you remind me
or even disrupt me into stillness
that I stop hearing my voice
and can be awed by yours-
in the fluttering of the breeze
in the song of the bird
in the touch of a loved one
in the peace of the absence of the cacaphony
of all of the world's doing
Lord, remind me to be sated with every moment you provide
To turn off my busy-ness
and see your hands at work in all that surrounds me.
Only then can I listen for how you want me to live out my being
as your child.
Help me to remember that your greatest desire
is for my heart to beat with yours
for me to listen to see whether we are in sync
and to reflect on this first
Help me in all that I think, say and do
to then reflect not who I am
but who you are-
You are God.