Be Still My Soul
“O Lord, I am not proud; I have no haughty looks. I do not occupy myself with great matters, or with things that are too hard for me. But I still my soul and make it quiet, like a child upon its mother’s breast; my soul is quieted within me.” – Psalm 131:1-3
Many among us engage in a kind of “activist spirituality” which is big on moving and shaking, planning and doing, and making things happen. And much that is good comes out of this style, but in time it can leave the constant doer a bit threadbare around the edges of the soul.
Today’s passage is a humble little one I have never really noticed before. I love that about Scripture, when new gems previously overlooked shine for us.
This one seems the perfect antidote to the dangers of an “activist spirituality.” The Psalmist approaches God humbly, with no claims or complaints, asking for nothing except a still and quiet soul “like a child upon its mother’s breast.”
There is a time to move and shake, a time to plan and do. But there are also times in our faith journey when it is important to wait quietly and let God still our tattered souls, refreshing us for whatever comes next.
O God, amid our busy lives, grant us some Sabbath moments when we ask for nothing but you to quiet and still our souls, in Jesus’ name.
Richard L. Floyd is Pastor Emeritus of First Church of Christ (UCC) in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. A writer, his most recent publications are Romans, Parts 1 and 2 (with Michael S. Bennett), two new titles in the “Listen Up!” Bible Study Series. He blogs at richardlfloyd.com.