Be still, and know that I am God; Psalm 46:10
A few weeks ago I was watching an old Disney movie about a young boy fighting for ownership of a wild Australian bush pony. When a friend asks how he knows his pony from the other seemingly identical ponies in a herd, the boy replies that he recognizes him in the same way that he recognizes that his friend is his friend: he just knows.
I know that God exists. I don't pretend to understand what God is, but I believe in a benevolent higher power. I used to just feel sorry for non-believers and skeptics who I thought were only hurting themselves by resisting or denying God. No longer.
I believe that we humans are endowed by the Creator/God with free will. We make good choices and we make bad choices. Good choices ultimately move us forward while bad ones drag us down. Good choices lead to peace, harmony and contentment.
We suffer from the consequences of our own bad choices. We become disconnected, anxious and unhappy. When this happens, we can either live with the chaos we've created or look for help in regaining order. Those of us that believe in God, look to Him for help. Prayerful discernment helps us make right choices.
For the most part, non-believers and skeptics, go blindly forth through life making bad choices. In willfully choosing not to dialogue with God they have no way of discerning right from wrong, good from bad. They create chaos, not only in their own lives, but in the lives of all around them and then blame somebody or something else.
Most frightening, are those people that deliberately create disorder in the lives of others in an attempt to create dependency, not on God, but on themselves or their agents. These would be the proponents of what is referred to as, the New World Order.
When I was a little girl, my grandmother used to admonish my brother and I, "Be still." That meant, that we were to stop squirming or dancing around, and close our mouths. I rarely ever remember being punished by my grandmother. Usually, when she told us to be still, it was because she saw trouble brewing. She was looking out for us because she loved us. Usually, we listened when she spoke because we trusted that she knew what was best. It was always ultimately our choice to listen and be still, or get into trouble.
Clearly, our culture does not encourage us to be still. This is the age of the iPod where there is audio everywhere. We are constantly bombarded by distraction. As a young mother I was exhausted and often disheartened at the end of the day. I remember locking myself in the bathroom with a glass of wine and a candle. I'd turn off the lights and lay as still as I possibly could in a hot tub of fragranced water. It was heaven. I always emerged with a smile on my face, feeling renewed.
As family tradition would have it, I go all-out celebrating Christmas and wake-up the first week of January, sick-as-a-dog. This year was no exception. Finally over my cold, Rick and I were aching for a winter retreat. We headed to the cottage.
The first order of business each morning is to potty the dogs. Saturday was no exception. The night before, we saw bear tracks so thought I should probably accompany the four of them outside. I didn't intend to stand there any longer than I needed to as I was only wearing a bathrobe and my slippers. Aside from the movement of the dogs as they nosed through the snow, it was completely still and I was unexpectedly captivated by the quiet beauty of the landscape. Everything around me seemed to be in harmony. There was a 'oneness' about the landscape.
Normally, I'd be able to hear the rush of the water in the rocky creek-bed below. Even that was frozen over and still. I watched as one of the big dogs walked out into the middle of the ice, followed by one of the scotties and I became a little anxious. Even though I couldn't see or hear the icy creek water, I knew it still rushed freely below the surface of the ice. Protectively, I called the dogs back up to the cottage.
Like the dark water flowing beneath the ice and snow, I don't have to see God to know that He exists. I admit that there have been desert times when I've been angry and blamed God unjustly or when I forgot to ask for help and charged head-on into disaster. Luckily, I've never lost my faith completely and I eventually remember that I just need to be still! and know that He is God.
And He said, Go forth,and stand upon the mount before the Lord.And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent themountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lordwas not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake:And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out . . . Kings 19:12-13