I found meaning in everything around me - the people I cared for, the jobs I did, the organizations I belonged to...I forgot to look deeper.
During the Covid pandemic, when all of those things got stripped away and I was left in the disconcerting silence, pondering who I am, the urge gripped me to just busy myself with something else. Find meaning in that.
Silence is a lost art - and a powerful practice that leads to deeper places. Places that the busy soul rarely visits. I learned during the quarantine not to shy away from that awkward and disconcerting silence.
I decided to use that time - when all other distractions were taken away - to be sure that I got back to the root of where my meaning really came from. To set things straight. I could tell that something had gotten off track amidst my crazy busy life.
Scriptures tell me that I am a child of God, a “temple” for his spirit to indwell and to reflect His beauty and light and love and grace. I have a purpose - a beautiful purpose. I am loved, appointed and special.
Scriptures also tell the story of how Christ reacted when he found that greedy, short-sighted people had misused the holy temple in Jerusalem. They had set up counterfeit weights and manners of ripping off, tricking and deceiving those who came with good intent. They were taking advantage of others. Lying to them. Christ was angry. He basically called them out, flipped their tables, and sent them packing.
I am His temple also.
And He will not stand for twisted, counterfeit and deceitful practices to take away from my purpose and misuse who I am. Yet in my lifelong frantic search for meaning, I may have allowed some beliefs to take hold that DO NOT BELONG. I think I let them in in a moment of weakness or busyness, without fully vetting them.
A barrier becomes erected the minute the lies settle in. Suddenly, when others come to me - into my temple - they may think they are getting something real...but because I have allowed something inauthentic to set up shop, I am not always what they think I am. I am not always what I think I am. There is deceit - either naïve self-deceit or a willful shutting of the eyes - inside the temple walls.
So in this time of quiet, I invited him to flip my tables. To topple the counterfeit structures.
To expose the crap, the fake, the diseased lies that linger around and poison my mind and heart.
To rid my “temple” of them.
To set things straight.
Silence can be unnerving for us when we are used to constant noise and activity.
It makes us uncomfortable. We want to fill it as quickly as possible.
But the challenge is to sit with it long enough to hear...to see...to understand...what is true and what is not. To unmask the deceit that we have accepted as truth. To unveil the subtle abuse in the treatment we have allowed. To point to our true worth and value. Or to finally understand where our meaning lies.
I hope and pray that even after the imposed quiet season of Covid, now that we are back to running around and busying ourselves, I hope we can continue to take conscious quiet time to process the true, deeper meaning of who we are in Him and who HE is in us.
I pray that you also can allow Truth to topple the tables of deceit in your life. That you will learn to sit with the silence until you realize it really has a lot to say. That you will resist the urge to bury yourself in more busyness.
May times of stillness and silence bring freedom and order to our inner “temples” so that the actions that spring from it reflect authenticity, truth and wisdom!
Karen Marie Moning said: “The wisest man is the silent one. Examine his actions. Judge him by them.”
- Kelly Joyce