Thursday, August 01, 2013

Adding to the Noise

My car has been talking to me.                                               
No, no, please don't call the nice men in white suits, I haven't lost it quite yet, what I mean of course is that it's been giving me signals, letting me know it is in desperate need of help.  The windshield needs replacing (going on three years after an unfortunate cell phone incident...I don't want to talk about it), my tires need to be replaced (yes, I've been driving on a spare for over a year now) and the last time my brother was in my car and we hit 60 it was shaking so bad that he declared he felt as if he was being shot out of a gun (he has a knack for words...).  The thing is, I sort of tend to ignore these things: the ever extending cracks in my windshield frame my actual line of vision, my body has grown used to the rattle, my spare is technically a wheel rather than a donut, and the sound of my music drowns out the rest of the noise.                                               
I don't listen to my car; I ignore it.                                               
You'd think I'd learn.  A few years ago the poor thing arrived at the last straw.  The maintenance had been so thoroughly ignored that, eventually, it gave up the goat on the feeder road from I-10 to Kirkwood.  Diagnosis?  The whole engine had to be replaced.  Maybe if I'd kept up with the oil changing and the like it wouldn't have crapped out, I wouldn't have been stuck in the right turn lane with people honking at me as if I found it terribly enjoyable to block traffic in the middle of the day, I wouldn't have had to spend hours arguing with Alstate about my policy, my parents wouldn't have had to come and rescue me...                                                    
 “Be still, and know that I am God"  Psalm 46:10 (NIV)                                      
Life's a little bit like taking care of a car (flash back to Forest Gump)...I spend a lot of my time filling the silence with noise.  To drive it away I get caught up with TV shows, browse Pintrest, have movie marathons, listen to music, read books...I flee from the silence as if it were some sort of enemy to be avoided, quieted, subdued...even in my prayer and devotional time I ramble, I talk, I've absolutely no clue how to be silence.  I fill my life with noise so I don't hear the rattle, can ignore the cracks, numb the natural warnings that this autopilot is doing me no good.                                               
I don't know how to be still.                                               
Ready for the answer?  Sorry, don't have one.  Even now as I recognize my error I haven't the faintest how to truly be still before the Lord, to be quiet, to shut the heck up and listen...I sit in silence and try but inevitably my mind picks up on some train of thought, winding its way through the labyrinth as thoughts have tendency to do.  But instead of berating myself about not knowing how to be silent and still, my solution is prayer.  What else can I do?  Though a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17) the old man hands on, dragging me backwards like an addict longing for one last hit...My only hope is intervention, the kindness of a Savior.                                                  
It helps to view Psalm 46:10 from the NASB translation..."Cease striving and know that I am God."  Cease striving, be still, listen...I don't know how to do it, but I am thankful for a Savior Who promises not to leave me to my foolish self, a shepherd Whose voice I know, the gate through Whom I know to walk.                                                             

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