Creamer column Be still
My wife and I went to the beach recently and had a wonderful, relaxing time. While there, we enjoyed all the special things about being at the beach. We walked the beach collecting seashells, enjoyed all the different shore birds, ate some great seafood at our favorite restaurant and read good books.
Every morning my wife and I got up and headed out to the beach before it got too crowded and enjoyed a nice leisurely walk along the water’s edge. We stayed out on the beach until about lunch time. When we came in, my wife would head up to the room and I would head over to the lazy river for a little while. I enjoyed floating along on one of the inner tubes.
While there are always some children who want to splash and play in the lazy river, most swim and float around nicely with the adults. I believe the best part was the peacefulness. I closed my eyes and just allowed my mind and my body to relax and let go.
One day while I was peacefully floating along, I noticed a woman setting up some sound equipment right next to the lazy river. I wondered what she was doing. Soon it was obvious, as the music blared and ruined the peacefulness. I tried to relax and continue to enjoy the water, but I just couldn’t block out all the noise. I finally gave up and went back to the room.
After this, I began to notice how many people had something to distract them from the peacefulness. We saw many people talking on their cell phones. When you are at the beach with an incredible opportunity to be away from everything, why would you want to talk with someone on your cell phone? Lots of people, especially runners, were listening to music. The ocean and children playing in the surf provided you with music you couldn’t hear anywhere else. Why would you want to miss that?
The more I think about it, the more I realize people don’t like quietness. People want noise around them all the time. Noise and sound are distracting. But distracting from what? Why do people turn the music on as soon as they start their car? Why do people talk on their cell phones for hours every day? What is it about the quietness that bothers people?
I like it quiet. One of the reasons I enjoy the peacefulness is because I can sense the presence of God. I believe God wants to draw close to us, to have intimate fellowship with us, to talk with us. The trouble, in most cases, is we can’t hear him because of all the noise. God speaks to us in a soft whisper, which we can’t hear if we have our music playing or we are on our cell phone. I believe God wants to communicate with us, but we push him away.
I believe people are afraid to draw close to God because they are afraid of what he might say to them. God might point out our sins. Yeah, sometimes in the peacefulness, he points to my sin and he wants me to repent. Others will say they are afraid God will expect them to change. That’s true, too. God is always working to change us into the likeness of his son. That can be a difficult process, especially when he wants to prune away things I would rather he left alone.
Most of the time when I get quiet with God, I discover what he wants to communicate the most to me is the depth of his love. I don’t know about you, but knowing that God loves me changes everything. I find the self-confidence to lead a better life and a deep desire to please my Heavenly Father. Strangely, I have found the biggest thing that happens is a desire to tell others about the love that is available to them.
I want to encourage you to be still in a peaceful place and be in the presence of your Heavenly Father. The incredible power of those moments will change your life. Don’t let the fear of change keep you from the love of God. God’s love is perfect. He won’t hold back, reject you or give up on you. So take the risk of turning everything off, and spend some time with an awesome, wonderful and loving God, who will fill your cup to overflowing and thereby change you in ways you could never imagine.
Doug Creamer teaches marketing at East Davidson High School. He writes a weekly column. His Web site is www.dougcreamer. com.