City life, maybe even modern life, makes quiet hard to uncover. The garbage truck rattles windows 10 floors up. Reverse warnings beep their way into offices. Our world is so noisy we put earbuds in and feel a certain calm, when we then are in reality only filled with noise of our own choosing. Tranquility, solitude, calm…it’s hard to find a place which is completely, truly still.
We seek stillness. We require it. Being still is rare in the external world and perhaps we seek it because stillness is even more rare in our internal world. Just as we might enjoy the stars on a still night, we also long to look inside and find our souls at rest. Peacefulness and tranquillity are as powerful for us when they are internal to our nature as they are when observed in the external world. We long for calm, and when discovered it is a place we want to dwell.
Internal quiet anchors us in that it can hold against the noise of the external world. I can go to work and still be at peace. I can be in danger yet hold my poise. Self-control in a sense is our capacity to maintain calm in the midst of ever rising noise.
Jesus had this. When arrested and a follower cut off a soldier’s ear Jesus healed the soldier. When on the lake in a storm Jesus slept. When faced with torture and death and asked, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ Jesus responded with, ‘It is you who say it.’
In any of the situations above, what would your state be? Amidst great noise, He held.
This is not to say Jesus was stoic. He certainly revealed his anger at the moneychangers in the Temple and the gospels tell of his frustration with the disciples. He showed emotion, but his emotion swayed with his perception of a serious right or a serious wrong. His emotion – whatever it might be – was tethered by spiritual discipline, a calm that returned him back to center.
Jesus cultivated this.
When life got noisy Jesus would often go to a quiet place to pray. It restored his strength. The best action you and I may take today is to find stillness. Remain in it, and when you feel the quiet reconnect your heart, mind, and soul you will be better…recreated just a bit into the into the person God made you to be.