This past weekend I was on retreat at Pyramid Life Center in Paradox, NY. Tucked into the Adirondacks, this “thin place” is a source of restoration of my soul. I took this photo when I arrived.
Our retreat director was Mary DeTurris Poust, who is many things – the Director of Communications for the Diocese of Albany, a skilled and prolific writer, a gifted yoga teacher, and more. Her website is Not Strictly Spiritual. Early in the retreat we were talking about the Psalm verse 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God. It is a favorite for many of us.
Mary then pointed us to a translation found in the NASB. That version says this, “Cease striving, and know that I am God.”
That one really hit me hard. Cease striving? Sheesh, striving is the American way. In his first letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul tells them to keep striving. What’s a person to do? Thankfully we can understand this in the truly Catholic and universal matter of both/and, not only either/or.
This reminder to cease striving and/or to be still is God’s way of saying that we must stop and let God be God. Easy to say and think, but so very hard to live – at least for me.
Today I want to remember – and share – this notion when I want to push harder, insist on more, when my frustration mounts and peaks. God is in it all with me, and only God is God. We all might go more deeply into our lives of faith by taking a deep breath and being quiet. In a world that gets louder by the second, in workplaces and homes full of stress, in a time of great division, there is only one way. Know that God is God. Forever.
The reality is that today in the busyness of our daily lives, the race for power, wealth, prestige or status we are unlikely to hear what God is actually saying to us. But if we do not listen carefully then we may hear just what we want to hear and not what God is really saying. In today’s materialistic world one’s prestige, self-worth are still considered very important, after all! From that scramble we must indeed cease striving and know that God is God, our Creator and Provider.
God bless you Fran
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a fabulous idea. I’m trying not to strive, and yet…
I think we all struggle with this! But you are retired, so I urge you to strive less! 🙂
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