Monday, 22 September 2008

Be Still

I have been reading a book called Finding Sanctuary by Abbot Christopher Jamison. He is the Abbot of Worth Abbey, where they filmed the TV series The Monastery, broadcast in May 2005. The book is not about the TV series, but refers to it for examples as he explains how to find sanctuary.

The first point he makes is that we are all too busy, caused especially by this consumerist society. We are all encouraged to buy more things and want more things, and we have to work harder and longer to get them. Some people are really too busy and some only think they are. It has the same effect.

'Sanctuary' has two meanings: a sacred space, and a place of refuge. Many of us take time out, go on holiday etc., as a place of refuge, but it doesn't work because we have to go back to work and our busy lives. Sanctuary only works when it is also a sacred space. Once you find it, you carry it with you always.

Psalm 46 in the Bible, is full of turmoil and chaos. It talks about mountains falling, nations in uproar, desolation and war. Then suddenly, in verse 10, it says, "Be still, and know that I am God."

This is the beginning of finding sanctuary. You need to stop in the middle of your rushing about, and think about God. If you are not a Christian, you need to find out who He is and what He is like, then you need to be still and think about it. If you are a Christian, you should know these things, but we all get busy and need to be reminded. We still need to be still and think about what we know.

Thinking about God can take a lot of time and have a lot of consequences, but the place to start is just to pause, whatever you are doing, be still, and know that He is God. Try it now, and don't dodge the results.

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