We have lost something. Something incredibly important, something that we can’t afford to misplace… or worse still– replace. We have strayed away from a response to God that is demonstrated in our very foundation of faith (the Word). Our structure has been swayed from its intent, our process of communication with our Divine parent has been cluttered, and our proverbial “radio stream” to God is nothing but static. Yeah, we’ve lost something. We’ve lost silence.
“Silent Night, Holy Night. All is calm. All is bright.” Like, what happened to this? Does ANYONE see any comparison between this beautiful demonstration of reverence to God’s coming-to-earth and the society we live in today? Why is Christmas dreaded by so many… why is traffic 56938 times worse than usual… why are department stores, boutiques, and grocery stores jam-packed with people around the time of this “silent night.” Well, we’ve messed it up. We have somehow managed to forget how to respond to our Savior through a showing of holy silence, an issue of calm reverence. The whole world did it so many years ago… so why can’t we?
Let’s take myself as an example– it’s finals week. I literally have 4 strands of hair left on my head. I have committed a ridiculous amount of time to studying, an incredible sum of money to Starbucks, and have slept a number of hours that I can count on one hand over the past 4 days. Not okay. And it’s taking every ounce of concentration for me to take the time and blog, to take the time and analyze the things going so fast around me as opposed to simply taking part and letting them pass without detailed observation. I fear this echoes a dangerous flaw in my (and society’s) spiritual life.
“I’d settle for a slow down.” I’ve heard these words all day in my head… they were originally sung in the voice of Dierks Bentley (if you don’t know the song, shame on you– stop reading and go look it up). However, with a little more time, I figured out a bigger voice was at play here. I wonder how many times God looks down at us and mutters this phrase. I KNOW how many times our culture acknowledges it– little to none. And it’s an irony that sickens me– the chaos that comes as we approach this “silent night.”
If you’ve read any of my blog, you know that I believe this world to be an ongoing battleground, a platform for battles. Outside this world, in the spiritual realm, a war has been fought and won by our King Jesus. The big picture has already been painted… but the small brushes, splashes of color, and smudges are all part of what we live in. We live in the detailed battles that go on inside the bigger picture of a victorious war for Christ’s followers. This assimilation into reverent avoidance, this fast-paced way of spiritual life is a battle we have lost. And worse still, we are continuing to lose. Mainly, because we live in a society that fails to acknowledge such a battle, such a foundational flaw that produces more and more flaws. And so we persist, and we keep going and going and going… until Christmas (you know, the hugest fulfillment of prophecy EVER that’s a building block for our faith) has gone by. Silent Night who? We never knew it.
There must be a calm… there must be a truly holy silence that’s executed by each of us in response to this special time of year. No amount of shopping, Christmas cards, finals, cooking, present-giving, or traveling can validate an excuse. This holiday wasn’t made for your parents… it wasn’t made for your friends… and it definitely wasn’t made for food (although its a wonderful add-on ;)). Give reverence where reverence is due– stop. Be still. And get to know that little guy who laid on the hay. Get to know the Bringer of Hope. Let Him love you and acknowledge that love by saying nothing at all, by simply accepting.
Strength is something, as I’ve said before, that means more than any amount of words will ever give credit. But there is strength in Godly submission. And such submission is resoundingly absent in the town of Hattiesburg, MS. Realize the power of having no power at all… it’s refreshingly freaky. Kinda outlandish based on what we see every day. But it’s so delightfully uncontrollable and breath-taking. So, let it take your breath. And be still.
Well, I’ve been speeding a lot in the old airstream. My brakes are almost out, my blinker blinks at an abnormal speed, and my transmission feels a little off. Maybe it’s time to find the beauty of a brake– maybe it’s time to hear the silent melody of the season. It’s time to celebrate a truly silent and holy night. Let’s bring some life back to a carol of lost cause.
With both feet on the brake,