11 And he said, “Go out and stand on the mount before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. 12 And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.[a] 13 And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his cloak and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”1 Kings 19:11-13
1 Kings 19:12 Or a sound, a thin silence
I want to lean into the concept of simple. Over the years, I have felt myself continue to speed up, fill up, and pressure up my life. I have felt this running nature grow in me. In my unhappiness, I started trying to outrun and stay busy. All to not feel or deal with my real life. I could feel myself running further and further away from myself all those years. New clothes, new hair, a new place to live, a new dog, none of that would fix it.
In all my busy and running, I couldn’t hear whispering. I couldn’t slow down long enough to enter the thinness of the spiritual that I desperately wanted. And even in my wanting to simplify my life, I knew what some of that might mean. When I would get quiet enough, I knew there were significant problems needing fixing. If I stayed busy enough, I could lie to myself that I had fixed them. I hadn’t. I knew I hadn’t. What I didn’t let myself realize or slow down enough to get was this: it wasn’t mine to fix.
It took a strong wind, earthquake, and fire for God to get Elijah quiet enough to listen. For me, it took the loss of community, sure footing, and a few deaths. I had to get quiet because there wasn’t much left to clog my ears and mind with. Then I had to sit in a hospital room with a sick kid, alone, and scared out of my mind. It brought me to the place of calling out for help, real help, tangible help.
It had to get quiet enough for me to realize I couldn’t go on like this. My life needed tending to. What’s surreal is how quickly everything crumbled when I got still enough to let it. Once God had my full attention, my complete trust, and my all-in, it took less than three months for it to all change drastically. I was not prepared for that. Who would be?
And now I sit on the other side of a drastically changed life. One with problems and trials all the same. And so much happiness and laughter. One full of possibilities and love.
In this new space, I search for simple. A place where I can draw near to the whispers of God. Where my possessions don’t take all my time and effort and where bad relationships don’t zap my energy.
I feel simple is closer to who I always was. A girl who sat in quiet, reading, writing, and listening. A simple life with simple comforts. A simple soul.
I wonder how many of us need a change. How many of us need to sit in the quiet and listen to the things that whisper to us. How can we let go of the pressures and busyness and sit in silence? I want my soul to loosen and quiet. I want to feel intune with the spiritual, to live close to the veil that seperates us from it. I want to draw near to God and let them draw near to me.