K is for Knowledge


New weekly musings inspired by the alphabet... 

The oft-quoted verse 10 from Psalm 46: “Be still and know that I am God.” 

Every translation of the Bible has a slightly different way of saying things.
The New Hebrew Bible says, “Be still and acknowledge that I am God.”
The Good News Bible says, “Stop fighting, and know that I am God!”

Not an inaccurate translation, is it? 
There are times when I’m watching the news or reading the newspaper and I just want to holler, “Stop fighting!”

“Be still, and know that I am God,” is from the Oxford Bible (NRSV).
I like this version because it is a call to stop, but in a way that says, sit down, relax – 
stop whatever you are doing and just be – 
be still, be quiet.

We need to be still if we are going to open up our heart in order to truly receive what we need to know. 

But being still is the scary part.  
Because when we stop fighting, 
when we stop moving, 
when we stop being distracted – 
that’s when the truth emerges. 
And we may not want to acknowledge the truth.

God’s communications with us are not to tell us we are bad or wrong or stupid or useless. 
Those are the words we use for ourselves.
 God’s communications are about showing us the truth, the way and the life – 
about loving each other and ourselves – 
and the truth is, we need to be still in order to figure out how God wants us to do that. 

Or do we? 
Honestly, by now, we know what we are supposed to do.
We simply choose not to do it. 

First of all, 
we are called to be still and know God.

Second of all,
we are called to be kind and merciful and fair.

And lastly,
we are called to love our neighbours. 

But back to the beginning: 
Be still – 
stop thinking, stop talking, stop doing. 
Stop planning, stop worrying, stop fixing.

Be still. 

To hear God’s voice, to feel God’s presence, 
to hear your breath, to feel your heartbeat,
to breathe deeply and fully,
we need stillness. 
We need quiet. 
We need peace.

Stop fighting! and know I am God.
Know there is good.
In you. In your neighbours. In the world
Know there is good.
In your work. In the work of others in the world. 

Don’t be afraid of the silence, 
of what truth, what guidance, what ideas and answers burble up from your inner most self – 
the truth-telling self, 
the one that is tamped down by 
busyness and noise,
anxiety and longing,
judgement and regrets.

Be still and listen. 
In order to know,
in order to remember
what you are supposed to do
with this precious gift of life. 

~ SJ


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