Life on Repeat

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Life on Repeat

Chaos is roaring in my ear. Busyness is the weeds that have taken over my yard. Life is a plane, flying by. Zoom.

The rhythms of life can seem repetitive: Wake up. Brief time with family. Off to work. Cereal in car. Radio on. Then my coffee. Oh blessed coffee… And then it’s off. The noises get loud. I make a mental oath to be productive and efficient and busy. The workday ends, and I drive to the gym. Well, not really. I’m typically too tired. Greet the family. Eat dinner. Play with my son. Go through the nighttime routine. Talk with my wife. Read a book (only because the sports season is over). And go to bed. Wake up. Brief time with family. Off to work. Cereal in car. Radio on. Then my coffee. Oh blessed coffee…

Sound familiar?

Now, add to that life on repeat all the emotions you feel, your sin, shame, regrets, hurts, and the constant voice that says “you are failing in ____ area.”

Yikes.

What do we do in the midst of our American-busybody-chaos, when we feel like life is the same track on repeat? What do we do when we open our eyes and realize life is happening and we’ve been in the passenger seat.

Be still. Know that He is God. 

What does it mean for you to be still? Lately I’ve taken a hand from the monks. They understand the beauty of silence. So find your silence. I simply sit for 5 minutes and try not to think of anything. Every time my mind drifts, I catch it and say something like “Abba, Father.” The benefit of this exercise is that we get to practice turning back to our loving Father, while our minds run away, and experience his welcoming arms every time.

"Wait, so you don’t like read or pray or say anything? That seems like a waste of time. That seems pretty much like the most unproductive thing ever.”

I’ve found that as I practice listening to God, the loudness dims. The “to-do” list sitting on my desk is less ominous. I get to enjoy the silence and time with my Father. And occasionally I hear Him speak. And I smile. Today, my window was open, and in the beginning seconds of my silence the birds starting singing. It was a simple, but much-needed moment of reality. Life is not as loud as it seems, I just give the loud voices too much time on my mental mic.

Be still. 

And know that He is God. That word “know” carries a lot of weight. In short, we must know what God is like, not just assume and make things up. We can’t simply make God into who we want Him to be. We’re not the Supreme Designer and Being, designing Him into our likeness. So, yeah, we’ll never fully comprehend Him or fully understand Him, but it’s not like we’re just left to guess what He’s like. In Psalm 46 we see God described as a refuge, our strength, a very present help, the Most High, indwelling spirit, Power, a host, the God our ancestor Jacob worshipped, powerful, the ender of wars, a fortress. And that’s just one single chapter of one single book. I could spend 30 minutes looking further into every one of those descriptions. And He would become more and more understood. Do you get it? He tells us what He’s like.

Be still, and know that He is God. We must find our silence. We must know. But know what? Know that He is God. Don’t skip too quickly past that phrase or else you’ll miss the grammatical punch line. “Yeah, yeah, He is God. I know.” Try again, and this time realize that the focus is on the word “He.”

Wait for it…

Ah! He is God. He is. Not you. Not your phone. Not your hobby. Not your spouse. Not your kids. Not your job. Not your wisdom. Not your intellect. Not your cleverness. Not your friendliness. Not your relevance. Not your status. Not your appearance. No. He is. He is. Not the things you worship as God. He is. Back in that day (and I believe today as well) there were lower-case gods who had power. People worshipped those gods and things happened. There are gods in our day too. So, what do you worship? Success? Beauty? Comfort? Power?

How is the worship of those things treating you? They make my life loud. They sap the beauty out of it. They expose weaknesses within me and forget to tell me about my real purpose and dignity. The god of success wants my worship. And if I worship, I’ll get rewarded, but it won’t last long. What about you? Do you worship Beauty? You’ll leave the barber and get that blessing. You’ll feel good… for a little bit.

But Elohim, the God of Jacob, the Father, the Host of the myriads of angelic armies, He is the God of the gods. He sits at the throne. So, be still. Listen to the birds. Identify and repent of the gods you worship. He is God. Know that. That truth will set you free. The God-of-the-gods does not grow impatient. So join me in returning to Him today. And tomorrow.

- Caleb