Well I am continuing my camino de filipenses. I wish I could say that yesterday was amazing and wonderful and it was heaven on earth. Honestly, yesterday was a bit of a struggle. It was a struggle between where I needed and wanted to focus and where I habitually have focused throughout the day. I caught myself habitually and automatically going to my phone or iPad to check on things. What was the latest with the 49ers? What hilarious pics were posted on Instagram? Did the Warriors or Cavs win? What Youtube video should I watch while I eat lunch?
I realized how much “noise” there is in my life. I realized how “noise” is a very comfortable and maybe even comforting environment for me. How I need “noise” while I do things I need to do. AND, how uncomfortable silence has become. Silence isn’t peaceful. Silence has become alone-ness. Silence is not rest and tranquility. Silence has become uncomfortable. It wasn’t always that way for me. But the more I allowed my mind to wander away from God and that which is pleasing to Him, the more “noise” have smothered the peace of silence and solitude.
No wonder it’s hard to experience God’s peace and His rest. No wonder the stresses of life and the challenges of ministry remain somewhere in my mind, even when I hope to rest or sleep. No wonder God says in Isaiah 26:3 that “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.” I think I am beginning to understand what that truly means. I’m beginning to really see that a mind stayed on God is a mind of person who is abiding in Christ and experiencing peace. Peace and rest because that person knows God can be fully trusted for all things at all times.
I can see how I turned to the “noise” to help myself cope with the stresses and challenges. But all it gets me is a mind that is used to noise, uncomfortable with silence and solitude, and unable to rest in God. I am learning that abiding in Christ is being aware that the “noise” is exactly that, “noise.” That in my times of stress and challenges, I need to stay my mind on Him. That’s the Way of Philippians for me and that’s why I need to keep walking in that way.
A voice inside of me keeps whispering, “You should know all this. After all, you’re a pastor. You’re 59 years old. You’ve been a follower of Christ for years and years and years. And you still don’t know this stuff? You’re a loser.” To which I now realize, that’s just “noise.”