During the Vietnam War, peace activist A.J. Muste (1885-1967), stood in front of the White House night after night with a candle – sometimes alone. A reporter interviewed him one evening as he stood there in the rain. “Mr. Muste,” the reporter said, “do you really think you are going to change the policies of this country by standing out here alone at night with a candle?” A. J. responded, “Oh, I don’t do this to change the country, I do this so the country won’t change me.” I decided to think of ways to light a candle of hope in 2017 and invite others to join me. If you have an idea about lighting a candle, please share it in the comment section below.
“Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth” (NIV).
This “little light of mine” post is inspired by Psalm 46:10. It is about being still. I’m learning that being still can be a way of “lighting” and re-lighting your candle in the darkness. Here are some ideas I’ve been tossing around.
If you are a political junkie like me, put down the burden of protecting the world for a while each day and let God rule. Stop yelling at the TV (turn it off, if you can’t) and be still. Stop obsessing about the disasters that will happen if this President continues his course. Remember that God is staying God’s course as well. The arc of history is in our favor because the Creator of history is our God.
Choose to be still for five minutes several times a day. Just step outside of the chaos and refresh yourself. Look for animals in the fluffy clouds. Listen to some inspiring music. Eat some fresh fruit. Read a poem or a Psalm or a chapter in a meaningful memoir.
Make a pact with yourself that you won’t argue with friends or relatives on the other side of any issue. State your case in simple direct sentences. Listen to the other side. And then just stop. You can’t change a mind that doesn’t want to change.
Be a little more introspective. In his memoir, Unexpected Destinations, Wesley Granberg-Michaelson says, “My fascination is how one’s interior journey shapes and molds the exterior events that constitute one’s history.” During your stillness before God, contemplate how you arrived at your spiritual and political beliefs. Think about how your inward journey inspires your outward journey. Is the way you live life in harmony with the values you hold about life?
Pledge that the thoughts you share with others will first be filtered through the Holy Spirit’s sieve. Determine that the thoughts you share will enlighten and add value to the conversation. Follow the old Trappist saying, “Speak only when it improves the silence.” If you do this, you will find that being still before God is much easier