Something Bigger Than Ourselves

Today’s Word:  CONSECRATE

Today’s Time of Stillness:  24 minutes

“Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.” – Joshua 3:5

Advent is a reminder that we are a part of something bigger than ourselves.

Earlier this month, our choir and orchestra presented Christmas at First Baptist, an incredible annual performance of Christmas music.  My favorite part of the program, in addition to the usual Sleigh Ride shenanigans, is the violin solo of Silent Night.  It is simply exquisite.  A hush blankets the entire sanctuary as each movement of the bow gently caresses that holy space between heaven and earth.

With such talent and passion, I can imagine it would be easy to simply slip into your own world as a musician.  But I was struck by the frequent glances of the soloist back to the conductor, knowing at once that while she was the focus in that moment, ultimately, it was not all about her.  She understood the need to stay on the same beat as those around her, to be in the right place when others needed to join in, to give her best to something bigger than herself.

The spiritual practice of stillness does that for us.  It seats us before the conductor.  It quiets us so we can hear the heartbeat of the God we follow.  It creates space for us to see the big picture, to listen to voice of the Spirit that gets drowned out in the rowdy, restless clamor of daily life, to find our place in the music again.

Life often feels out of sync; out of sync with what, we don’t even know some days.  We wonder about the meaning of all of our busyness; to what end is it propelling us.  And the load on our back seems to get heavier instead of lighter.

Be still, and know that I am God,” the psalmist reminds us.

Be still – today.  Yes, I know what day it is.  If your Christmas to do list is like mine, there may still be more unchecked than checked.  Stocking stuffers have yet to be wrapped, batteries not included have yet to be bought, the sudden leak in the downstairs toilet has got to be fixed, and that carrot cake is not going to frost itself.

But today, perhaps more than any other day, we need to look to the conductor.  To sit and rest beside the manger.  To sync our lives with the songs of angels directing us to where we can find those place where heaven meets earth – in our home, our job, our heart, our world.

CEOs and innovators know how important daily, unstructured time is for the mind.  How much more so is that true for the soul for people of faith.

Stuff the dust bunnies back under the couch if you need to, find a quiet place, and be still.

This is the moment.  The moment that all of the other Advent moments have been leading us to.

The curtain is rising.  The house lights are dimming.  Let’s not miss it.

“Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do amazing things among you.”  –  Joshua 3:5

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