“A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains
and crushing rocks before the LORD—
but the LORD was not in the wind.
After the wind there was an earthquake—
but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
After the earthquake there was fire—
but the LORD was not in the fire.
After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound.”
A popular United States Marine Corps sentiment, ‘hurry up and wait,’ seems to be the prevailing existential sentiment of the day. For everyday life seems filled with deadlines for bills, responsibilities, and obligations; and everyone knows that bill collectors, bosses, and people awaiting promises, have no patience or mercy. What we get in return, moreover, is delays, incorrect or damaged shipments, shoddy work or service, and a lack of courtesy.
On top of this rush-rush mentality is the incessant noise that pounds us from every angle. Traffic, store music, televisions, telephones, airplanes, trucks, construction, you name it, sales, silliness, and insanity have a big mouth!
But God is a whole different ball game.
While the world shouts ‘hurry up and wait!,’ God whispers ‘stop and receive.’ For in silence and solitude, within a prayerful spirit, even in but a few moments stolen away from the restlessness of the average day, God gives himself to us in many forms.
It could be in Eucharistic adoration, in the silence of His Real Presence. It could be, most frequently, in a little prayer and a little tear. It could be in a (snuck) contemplative moment–letting God speak in powerful Creation symbolism. It could be in the consoling, encouraging, inspiring, or corrective spirit of a person’s word, hug, or listening ear.
Notice, however, the environment of God’s speech.
It is silent, soft, compassionate, merciful, sanctifying, convicting when necessary, Truthful, Just, and unceasing in Love. It doesn’t sell; it invites us, freely, in graced faith, hope, and charity, to our salvation. It doesn’t pressure; Love invites with open arms. It isn’t manipulative or conniving; it is Truth, unchanging, unending, pure, and Holy. It isn’t information. It is Wisdom. It isn’t condemning. It is freeing. It isn’t relativistic. It is absolute and objective, eternal truth for the beloved subject. It isn’t politically correct. It is Divinely Willed. It won’t make you bleed. It has already bled and died for you.
So the next time you are stressed to the point of near insanity, steal a minute from the noise, the pressure, and the perishing, and seek a small spot of solitude, where silence will allow the Almighty to ring clear in your heart, mind, and conscience.
Then, and only then, can the noise and the pressure be met with compassion in the obvious need of the noisy and the pressuring.