“Be silent all flesh before the Lord… ” Zechariah 2:13a KJV
It was November 11th. The weather was unseasonably warm and my husband and I had ridden our bicycles the ten kilometres or so into town for a leisurely Saturday morning breakfast. We hadn’t forgotten it was Remembrance Day, but were still surprised when a waitress ran through the bustling restaurant calling out, “It’s 11 o’clock! We’ll have a moment of silence, please.” And then she stood there in the middle of the room, coffee pot in hand, while we put down our forks, ceased our conversation, and collectively considered the great sacrifice that was made on our behalf and the freedom we were enjoying that very day. It was a stirring moment, shared with a restaurant full of strangers – soon over, and then back to business as usual. We thanked the waitress later for leading us in that simple act of remembrance and respect.
This morning, as I was readying myself to approach God in prayer, I thought about that moment of silence last November. And I thought about the agenda I had for my quiet time with God that morning. If my plans panned out, I would have had every single moment filled – with good things, mind you – like reading the Bible and praying for the needs of people I care about, but every moment would be filled. And I wondered what God thought about that.
I wondered what would happen if I gave him just one moment of silence before jumping into my list of things to do and say this morning. A moment of remembrance and respect. A moment of considering who I am in relation to him and what he has done for me. I wondered what would happen if I gave God a space in “my” agenda… A sacrifice of silence. Would he like that?
He certainly seemed to.
He filled that gift of space I offered with an awesome awareness of himself. An awareness that I would not likely have tuned into otherwise. An awareness that he was genuinely glad to have me there with him this morning. An awareness of how able he is and how much I need him to carry my life in his hands and how intently interested he is in doing just that. My minute turned into two or three or maybe five and slowly, subtly an unexpected change took place.
I found myself laying down my own agenda and picking up his.
“…There was silence; and I heard a voice.” Job 4:16b KJV