Bible Verse: Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
Scripture Reading: Zechariah 2:13, Zechariah 3:1-10
Stihl is a chainsaw brand. Many who grew up on farms, or up north, or down east, or have a cottage will know this. Well into the current round of self-isolation and social distancing, I stepped into my woodlot to clear up a few “easy” trees that had succumbed to the ravages of winter winds and emerald-ash borer (that insidious insect that, paradoxically, makes great firewood). It was 5 degrees or so, T-shirt weather where I come from. The sun was out in full display, and there wasn’t as much as a light breeze in the air. I turned off my saw. Complete silence enveloped me, less the happy call of the odd chickadee and his companion. Silence.
While society churned around me, anxious and constrained, it was not so in the woods. Be Stihl and know…rather, be STILL and know… that I am God. The substance of this old hymn flooded my senses that day. Be still. Reflect on MY goodness. Feel the love that I have for you, the HOPE that I offer, which is far greater than your present circumstance.
You see, when all the earthy distractions and assurances are stripped away – programming, schedules, entertainment, careers, even socializing – we have a choice to make. Do we lean more heavily on the Lord, who knows our present circumstance and has promised to sustain us, or do we turn to ourselves and others to offer safety? Can I suggest that the most valuable use of your time, regardless of pressures, inputs, demands, is to simply find the time to be still? It’s not intuitive.
As men, in particular, we are geared to solve, fix, and prevail. As in any life venture, however, we all have limits – a finite capacity to achieve and to solve. Then what?
If you are the least bit like me, you’ve all “hit the wall” in some past endeavour. Perhaps it’s being denied at the motor vehicle licencing office after waiting in line for 90 minutes. Perhaps it has been the inability to get through and speak with a human being at the end of an airline or banking 1-800 number. For others, it has been that unexpected call from the doctor’s office or emergency room, or the rejection of a University application. The Dow Jones dropped 30 percent. Perhaps you didn’t get drafted into professional sport when you thought you would, or you blew out an ACL playing shinny hockey (or both). Maybe you couldn’t find a loaf of bread this week at your local supermarket; nor toilet paper. The list goes on.
What is more common than many realize is that when we’ve pushed to the end of “self,” we are often found lacking. “Self” fails. Don’t get me wrong: “Self” should always be encouraged to learn, re-direct, and try again; but “Self” can also be calibrated to trust and seek higher guidance. I expect my kids to come to me when they “hit the wall” in their own lives. It’s natural. I, likewise, turn to my Heavenly Father when things “go south.” I cannot do this in panic mode, or through and noise of the moment. Rather, I must be STILL.
And so I wait.
I wait for his hand to guide me.
I seek patience to endure.
I take my saw for another walk.
Be Stihl my soul.
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