Are you up for The Challenge? Let’s see…

Be still, and know that I am God.

Here’s a simple yet difficult challenge. Find a place and sit alone. For 15 minutes. No phone, no TV, no laptop, no pen and paper, no radio, no music, no interruptions. OK, a cup of coffee is acceptable. Perhaps outside, away from everything. It’ll probably go well for the first 2 to 3 minutes.

Then you’ll remember the clothes in the dryer, the call or email you need to return, the post on Facebook you didn’t make yet, the kids, and all the other things that seem just can’t wait.

But what if those things could wait? What if you because everything to stand still? What would happen in those 15 minutes? Would you hear the birds chirping, see the squirrel playing on the fence line in the back, observe the cloud formations, hear the stillness in the neighborhood? Would you hear God?

When’s the last time that happened for you? Has it ever happened to you? We get so wrapped up in the busyness of the day, and the many things that we believe are important.

We’ve been well-trained and, in fact, we’ve trained ourselves well. We’re addicted to busyness to the point of uselessness and incapacity. But the cares of this world will wear us down, distract us, discourage us and cause us to lose sight of the real prize.

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the 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. 12 After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. 13 When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.

All of those mighty winds, earthquakes and fires that are tormenting or shaking up your life are just that: Distractions that keep your attention and seek to keep you focused away from the real power and truth for you.

Your answer isn’t in the magnificent lightning or rolling thunder. It’s in the little, quiet whisper when the tantalizing excitement is over. It’s what’s left when everything else is shaken to the ground. God won’t compete with the craziness of our day. Only when we turn aside, intentionally start tuning out the voices and wait for the gentle whisper.

Too many voices in our lives lead us astray and cause us to veer off course more than we can imagine. Yes, there is a still small voice – a gentle whisper – that rarely is heard because it is drowned out by the cacophony noise around us.

When we shut out all of the other voices, then and only then will we begin to regain balance and find peace of mind and confidence in God. Will you take the challenge this week?

Not asking for a day, not even asking for a night. Can you find 15 minutes? Alone in the quiet stillness. Can you be still and know? For 15 minutes?

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