Be Still and Know….
It seems like every time I write a blog I have just come back from a trip. This time it was a trip to Cornville (Sedona area) with 14 junior high students. For some, this might be your worst nightmare, but for me, I was sad because it was only 14, and not 30 or 40. Never the less those who went had an amazing time. The 14 students, 3 leaders and myself left PPC Friday night to go on a winter retreat, (again, winter is a bit of a stretch as it was mid to upper 70’s all weekend. So not much winter but we did have an opportunity to retreat).
When we arrived on Friday night, as with most trips I lead, there is a since of excitement; whether it being away from home, getting to stay up later, being with friends or trying to take advantage of the new guy or a little bit of it all, the excitement was overflowing. To put to politely the kids were having a good time that lasted very late.
Saturday morning, was much of the same, the energy level was high as we planned to take a hike to a place called Devil’s Bridge, I know what your are thinking a great place for a youth leader to take a bunch of Jr. High students. Despite its name, it was a really great hike. Once we got there we ate lunch, I took on a momentous task…asking 14 junior high students to be quiet for 30 minutes. It wasn’t because they were in trouble or had done something wrong, but rather to take time from typically noisy lives to simply spend time quiet with God.
While they were quiet, taking in the beautiful Sedona Mountains, I gave them a question to pounder. The question was one that Jesus asked his disciple when he was alone praying, but could hear the noise and commotion of people discussing who he was. “He asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” They answered, “John the Baptist; but others, Elijah; and still others, that one of the ancient prophets has arisen.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered, “The Messiah of God” (Luke 9:18b-20).
Who do you say I am? We had lots of different answers but several of our students responded by saying Jesus was “a good friend” and hearing that answer made me think about Peter’s answer. Peter answered by saying “The Messiah of God” which is correct, but for me it isn’t enough. In being “The Messiah” Peter leaves out the personal side of Jesus. He leaves out the side of Jesus that we get to know when we are still and when we are in our quiet times. The Jesus that knows the real us even when we are to busy putting on a show for other people or living a lifestyle that brings more glory to us than it does God. God know the real us.
Jesus isn’t just “The Messiah” he is “My Messiah”, he is “Your Messiah”. Often times in our busy lives we see Jesus as the savior of the world, but forget that he is also our savior. He is there for us, not just others. He knows the real, the broken and sinful us, even when we pretend he doesn’t, he knows.
Our world has become more and more noisy, with radios, TVs, cell phones, gaming devices, work, sports…. it goes on and on. We spend so much time every day making noise, so much time trying to hide the real us from the rest of the world that we often forget that Jesus is our Messiah. He died for us because he loves us and wants to spend time with us. We forget to simply be still with God and know…
As we were leaving from our winter retreat, I gave a challenge to all of our Jr. High Students. I will challenge those who read this this week the same challenge…spend 10 minutes a day this week, (A little over an hour total. The Jr. High did that in two days.) simply being still with God. Don’t try to hide from God and don’t ask God for anything, just allow yourself to be yourself. Simply spend time, in the quiet (no radios or TVs), in God’s presence and know…