So keep still,
and let God
do some work.
~ Thomas Merton
For only nine words, these surely serve as a beacon on the hill. Enough to pray over, really. Plenty and then some….
The first three, we all ought to be wearing on our 2019 Lenten t-shirts, right? One size fits all. This is what Lent asks of us. What Lent welcomes us into. This is to be our spiritual practice. Keeping still serves as our spiritual guide. Pointing us on from where we have been and toward where we can next go. So. Keep. Still. Just these three words. Not much and somehow everything. For this season, for this time – keep still. Cease the busy-work. Put an end to the hustling and bustling. So. Keep. Still. Breathe. Listen. Watch. Wait. Breathe.
And then Merton adds the kicker: “and let God do some work.” One of my life challenges is getting out of the way. Out of the my way, out of the way of others, out of the way of God. (Yes, even as I was typing it, I was mindful of the goofiness of the last one).
Our God created and is creating still. Our God has loved us and is loving us still. Our God, Alpha and Omega, is always with us.
These words come at a good time on this journey. We have been traveling for a while and it is easy to become distracted, to misstep. Here, Merton brings us back to center and brings everything back into focus. It is our work to be still. We were not created to frantically run in circles, nor were we made to pace the hallways until the soles of our shoes are worn thin. We are certainly not here in this world to spend our days howling at the moon. Keep still.
Keep still and let. Four words here at the heart of his sentence to remind us that there is an intentional turning over/letting go of what we think needs to be done. Can we instead, adopt the posture of the river? Shift from grasping, desperately holding on, and instead move to the thought of floating on downstream, down the river. No longer pushing against the current. Floating. Leaning into a power that is greater than our own. Trusting that what will happen, will happen with God’s loving care and kindness. Trusting to let God do.