I went on a hike the other day. It was a familiar trial that I have hiked before. From time to time you can see deer in certain spots along the trail. I stopped at one of those spots and looked around, but I did not see any deer. I decided to sit down in this little area off the trail and just be still. All of a sudden, I could see several deer through the trees. They were motionless just as I was now.
Then it hit me. The deer had been there the entire time, but the combination of their camouflage and my motion kept them hidden right under my nose until I sat down and waited quietly. It led me to wonder, how many great ideas remain camouflaged to our busy and over stimulated eyes? I wonder how many solutions lay hidden in plain sight, ready to be discovered, if someone is willing to be still and wait.
It was a reminder to me that I have been moving too fast. I have been trying to “chase down” the ideas, but sometimes the best move is to be still and wait for the ideas to come to me. It is all too easy for me to “force” things to happen instead of being still and waiting. Remember the situation with Elijah? He was looking for God in the big, loud and obvious ways. But God spoke to him in a gentle whisper.
“Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the Lord told him. And as Elijah stood there, the Lord passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. 1 Kings 19:11-13 (NLT)
Here are a couple of simple steps that might be helpful to you as you focus on being “still”:
- Put yourself in a quiet environment and prepare yourself to listen to God more than you talk. We are so accustomed to noise and we are not sure what to do with silence.
- Have something to record your thoughts. As you write your thoughts, your mind is free to wander.
- Be prepared to make a discovery. You typically get what you expect. If you are looking for solutions and you do not give up, you will eventually find what you are looking for.
“but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31 (RSV)