Be Still (Stop Whining!) and Know That I Am God!

“Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” (Psalm 46:10)

Each day in my seventh-grade classroom I begin the class with a short saying called “Wolfe Wisdom”. Once in a while I purposely rename it “Wolfe Whine”, like last Friday when I shared this one: “I lost my mood ring and I’m not sure how I feel about it!” I knew I was showing my age when several students, during the course of the day, asked “What’s a mood ring?”

Someone else said, “Mr. Wolfe, you always whine!” In a whiney voice, I replied, “I do not!”

Whining is just one extra letter away from wining, and there seem to be a lot of people who are intoxicated with it. Complaining seems to be an exceptional talent for them. I’ve thought about putting together the top ten whines I heard in my 36 years as a pastor, but someone would probably grumble about the fact that they didn’t make the list.

Of course, in Exodus and Numbers we have multiple whining crescendos from the Hebrew people about the lack of water, lack of food, lack of meat, lack of security. If you’ve ever been in a pre-school room where every small body is talking, crying, or screaming you might get a sense of God’s level of perturbed.

In these crazy days we’re living in, whining has spread like locusts. When you are in the midst of a whine-fest, you can’t hear the whisperings of God. Stillness is something our energy-drink saturated culture doesn’t do very well. We whine about our situations, expecting the solution to come from those who are as clueless as we are, instead of pausing to be still.

However, it’s to be expected. There has been an eroding belief in the One who is the Solution and holds the keys to our struggles. Faith requires that I believe in something outside of myself and beyond our institutions and structures. Faith nudges at my ribs and asks me to be still for a while and watch what our Resolving God will do.

Is that difficult? Yes, it is. Our attention spans are as short as 15 second commercials now…unless the attention is on ourselves, and then we can go all day like we’re our own reality TV show.

Be still. Be settled. Zip the lips and confine the whine.

The Quakers hit one something when they wait in silence on a word from the Lord. Maybe we need to become a bit more Quaker-ish! I’m sitting in stillness and thinking about that. Hmmmm!

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