12 Steps to Spiritual Recovery
YouTube: Step 11: The Power of Stillness
I set aside quality time daily to know the presence of God through quiet meditation.
A well-known story from the Old Testament (1Kings 19:11-12) places the prophet Elijah on a mountain in the wilderness. Four things happen. First, a great wind blows so hard that it smashes rocks, but the Lord is not in the wind. Then, there is a mighty earthquake, but the Lord is not there either. Next, there is a great fire, but the Lord is not in the fire. Finally, there is a still small voice, and this is the voice of the Lord.
The story presents a graphic way of depicting the power of stillness. Thanks to our modern media, we have all seen the great power of the tornado and hurricane. We have seen the aftermath of earthquakes. And we have all been close enough to wildfires to know what they can do. The point of the story, however, is to call attention to a quiet power, a still small voice that remains when the brute forces of nature pass. This is the voice of the Lord of our being, that quiet inspiration that can become our greatest assurance in times of uncertainty.
Most of you have read Emilie Cady’s book, Lessons in Truth. Two chapters worth reviewing are, The Secret Place of the Most High and Finding the Secret Place. These chapters present the classic Unity view of the value of meditation and how to practice it.
When most of us close our eyes to seek stillness and guidance, we are, like Elijah, confronted with the winds, earthquakes, and fires of our own chaotic mind. With persistence, however, we can move beyond these and begin to experience an inner peace and stillness. Rather than blindly groping after an experience, Cady suggests, like the sunbathing fowl, that we passively await while keeping our mind actively alert to the stirring of spiritual energies. This is Elijah’s still small voice. We can neither describe it nor give it to another. Each person must seek until we find this inner power.
With practice and with our growing insights, we begin to look forward to our times of quiet and to come to a true appreciation for the power of stillness.