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RELAX. REST. GOD IS HERE.

Posted by on April 21, 2014

We’d been practicing diligently as all good choirs do.  You know–“Okay, once more from the top and we’ll have it.”  For the fifth straight time.

Pitch, pronunciation, energy, notes, lyrics.  Check, check, check, check. . .

Coffee - Old grinder

Wait.  What?

“There is a sweet anointing in this sanctuary / There is a stillness in the atmosphere / Oh, come lay down the burdens you have carried, for in this sanctuary, GOD is here.”

Who, me?  Burdens?  Oh, NAW.  See my big grin?  Hear me joking and acting up?  Carry burdens?  Why—–

“There is a sweet anointing in this sanctuary / There is a stillness in the atmosphere / Oh, come lay down the burdens you have carried, for in this sanctuary, GOD is here.”

Um, God?  You’re repeating yourself.  I think You just said th—-  Hmmh?  On purpose?

“Oh, come lay down the burdens you have carried, for—“

Okay-okay.  There’s nobody else around now to impress with my SuperChristian persona.  Anyway, You, ah, pretty much know where I’m at, anyways–right?  I mean, like—-

“He is here—–, God is here to break the yoke and lift the heavy burdened_______.  He is here—–, God is here to heal the hopeless heart and bless the broken_______.  Oh, come lay down the burdens you have carried, for in this sanctuary, God is here.”

Broken at last, wiping my nose and shaking the tears of frustration away, I simply sat waiting.

There’s a reason it’s called ‘quiet time’.  The value of ‘Quiet’ is only realized in inverse proportions to the raucous din surrounding one’s soul.  Its presence can become so implacable that noise becomes normal and stillness arouses suspicion.

The janitor would sit down at the main computer console each morning at 2:30 to eat his lunch.  Spreading his wrappers and crumbs all over the keyboard and console, he left a mess every shift.  Mainframe computers have all sorts of high-speed cooling fans constantly running.  The computers themselves, along with their equipment, are always whirring and humming, clicking and snapping. . .  It’s so steady and pervasive it becomes unnoticeable. . . until it all stops.

That’s what happened when a programmer/operator got tired of constantly cleaning up the mess, sat down and programmed the computer.  That morning, the janitor sat down promptly at 2:30, spreading the beginnings of yet another mess on the main console.

At exactly 2:37, every fan, motor, computer system and variety of machinery that made any noise at all shut down.  At the same time, on the main monitor right in front of the suddenly-wary janitor, words began to mysteriously appear.  He sat immobilized, his meatball sub halfway to his mouth:

DEAR JANITOR:  EVERY MORNING YOU SIT AT MY CONSOLE AND MAKE A MESS.  YOU LEAVE WRAPPERS, FOOD PARTICLES AND CRUMBS OF ALL KINDS LAYING HERE, MESSING UP MY KEYBOARD.  YOU ARE BEING OBSERVED.  IF YOU EVER MAKE THIS MESS AGAIN . . .”  and the programmer added the janitor’s address, phone number, auto license tag, his dog’s name, his mother’s maiden name, his social security number, the routing numbers for his checking account and enough other personal information to make his point.

By the time all the computers, fans and motors spun up again, there was no evidence that janitor had ever been seated there.

The point?  It’s so deceptively easy to get used to constant noise that it can be mistaken for silence – until you encounter the real thing.  The value of ‘Quiet’. . .

So I sat in God’s profound, healing silence, feeling His Power and Presence washing over my mind, body and spirit.  And I began again to repeat those lyrics that suddenly were taking on whole new light. . .

“He is here—–, God is here to break the yoke and lift the heavy burdened_______.  He is here—–, God is here to heal the hopeless heart and bless the broken_______.  Oh, come lay down the burdens you have carried, for in this sanctuary, God is here.”

I wept.  I laid burdens at His feet I never realized I’d been packing around.  None of them alone looked like much.  But one here, one over there, another one up there—and suddenly I’m weighed down with stuff I had no right picking up in the first place.

I know what you’re thinking.  You’re wondering, “So, where is this sanctuary you’re talking about?  The one where I can meet God and unload my, ah, burdens, too.”

No mystery.  It’s wherever you get tired enough of carrying them around that you’re willing to give them all to Him.  When you reach that point, you’ll sense God’s stillness.  And you’ll wonder – just as I did – how in the world you could ever mistake the constant racket of life for His immense Quietness.

‘Quiet time’. . .  Oh, yes.  I recommend it.

© D. Dean Boone, April 2014

 

2 Responses to RELAX. REST. GOD IS HERE.

  1. BC

    One of the best you have written. Maybe it’s because I carry some of those same burdens.

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