Image by Rebecca K Photography
By Marti Van Cleef, Grace United Methodist Church
“But I have stilled and quieted my soul.” Psalm 131:2a
I am not a patient person. I am a person who takes control of things and plans and moves forward. My brain is full of clamor and busyness. I have lived a very secular life, not necessarily an unspiritual life nor a life without faith, but a non-organized religion life. Asking God is not a place I consciously “go to.” So hearing the voice of God’s guidance does not come easily. And yet I have experienced His voice. At various times in my life, I have looked into Buddhism, Shamanism, Judaism, Spiritualism – searching, I think, consciously or unconsciously for a way to hear the voice of God.
Once, I decided I wanted to see the great Tule Elk that live on a peninsula in Point Reyes, California. So I went out to the peninsula one beautiful day and started walking out to the point looking for the elk. I walked and walked and walked … and saw nothing but the land, the sky. I could smell the ocean; the breeze was soft and the sun was bright. But no elk. When I had walked about 3-1/2 miles, I stopped, so frustrated and flustered and impatient, I was practically stamping my foot. And then something in my heart told me to be quiet, stop fretting, just stop – it’s a beautiful day. And I stopped and took a deep breath and closed my eyes and listened to nature around me; I looked at how beautiful the land was, how brightly the sun was shining, how clear the sky was. I started to walk again and I “heard” in my heart “Stop. Turn around.” So I did. And there on the hill behind me, only about 100 yards away, was a herd of maybe 30 Tule Elk standing there looking at me. I was in my Shamanism period so I chalked this moment up to “being at one with the Universal Energy” but no matter what label I put on it, I knew that I had just finally heard the voice of God. Finding that moment of stillness, letting go of the willfulness of ego and going quiet in my head and heart allowed God to be heard. He was willing to answer my prayer; I just had to be quiet enough to hear him.
Prayer: Dear Lord, give me the patience and trust to quiet my heart and head so that I might hear your voice. Help me put aside my own will so that I might know Yours. Help me to let go of my agendas so that I might act on Yours. Abide with me. Amen.