“A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat the boat. … Jesus rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm.” – Mark 4:37 & 39 (NRSV)
With recent windstorms in Washington and the ongoing windstorm of this pandemic, we could all use a little more “Peace! Be still” in our lives.
It is interesting to note that the first thing that Jesus does here is rebuke the chaos. And the chaos listened.
While we may not be able to bring about the calm that we seek in the wider world, we can certainly work to have it be a defining feature of who we are personally.
But is it really possible to be still; especially in the midst of the storms and chaos of life? Imperfectly, yes. As Rev. Matt Laney points out, however, it is not physically possible to be perfectly still. He writes:
“Have you ever tried to be completely still? You’d sooner sprout wings and fly.
No matter how static we become, the heart pumps, lungs breath, intestines digest. Our brain produces an endless stream of thoughts, sometimes a trickle, sometimes a fire hose.
Not even inanimate objects are still: not the rock, not the chair, not the parked car. From the perspective of quantum physics (which I know very little about), subatomic particles are buzzing about at warp speed.
Sedentary or not, everything is a teeming dance of movement. True stillness, therefore, requires divine intervention as this passage makes clear. Stillness is akin to holiness.
When Jesus stilled the storm, he brought creation to a standstill, to the point of “dead calm,” which might have been the brink of non-existence, something only the Creator could pull off. That’s the point: Jesus had those creds.”
So while complete stillness is impossible to attain on our own, “nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37).
As the world and our lives continue their mad rush to the future you don’t have to move at the same speed. As a person of faith, it is important that you call upon Christ to help you achieve at least a modicum of stillness, peace, and calm in your life.
Worship helps with that. Prayer helps with that. Music helps with that. Most importantly, finding time—at least once a day—to sit quietly helps with that.
You needn’t move at the same hyper-speed of the world around you. Christ is with you to help calm the storms around you and within you.