One time I found myself lost in the woods alone. It was late at night and a friend and I were going fishing. We had left the car parked on the side of the road and had gone through the woods down to the water’s edge where our boat was tied. The plan was that we would load the boat with the supplies we had brought from the car, then he would take the boat across the lake to a bridge on the other side where I would drive the car, park it and meet him there.
I pushed the boat off, moving it away from the shoreline and turned to go back through the woods to my car. However, as I began to make my way back, it didn’t take long until I became disoriented. The night shadows and muted colors caused every path to look the same. After walking for thirty minutes on a course that I knew should have only taken ten if it were the right one, I began to realize that chances were good that I was lost.
I was a little nervous at first, but told myself that I would eventually come upon the road and the car. An hour later, I knew I was in trouble when I found myself off the path and fighting my way through thick undergrowth, filled with night sounds I didn’t recognize. I had absolutely no idea which direction I needed to head anymore. Instinctively I began to walk faster . . . and faster . . . and faster. After awhile I realized that increasing my speed wasn’t accomplishing anything except to make me tired.
I sat down to rest for a moment, telling myself that I needed to calm down and think this situation through more carefully. As I sat there, I glanced up toward the sky. Above me I saw my answer. It was a power line. I reasoned that the line had to lead somewhere and that I would simply follow it until it led me back to civilization.
That is exactly what I did and my plan worked. After a long walk, the line led me back to a side road, which I then followed to the highway and to my car. It was a scary experience, which to this day has kept me out of the woods alone at night.
My trek through the woods parallels the journey of many of our lives. Since we aren’t sure how to get where we want to be we simply walk faster and faster. We are accomplishing nothing but exhausting ourselves. In an effort to reach our goals, we become driven to increasing activity and effort, which only serves to exhaust us physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Stillness. It was into the stillness of an empty void that God spoke and said, “Let there be” and all that is came into existence. It was in the stillness of a barren desert that a man met God at a burning bush and was commissioned to lead His people to freedom. It was in the stillness of the night that a baby’s cry could be heard in Bethlehem, announcing salvation to the world. It was another still night when that same child would cry to His Father in a garden, “Not my will, but thine be done.” It was in the stillness of an early morning that a stone was rolled away and an occupied tomb would forever be emptied. Stillness — God’s showcase.
The fire of God’s love burns brightly in the stillness. It is in that stillness that the distractions and cares of the world fade away like outside noises are muted when we make love to our beloved. It is in that stillness that we are able to give our thoughts, our feelings, and our will completely to Him in uninhibited abandon.
It is in that stillness that we are able to meditate — to muse on the Person and loving words of the One whose passion burns for us until we are irreparably and eternally ignited by the Flame. It is in that stillness that we gasp with delight along with the Psalmist, “My heart was hot within me; while I was musing, the fire burned” (Psalm 39:3, emphasis added).
Do you want to experience your God's love in a more powerful way than may have known until now? Be still. You may be surprised what you hear and see when you do.
This post is an excerpt from my book, A Divine Invitation, available here: