“And after the fire came a still, small voice.” 1 Kings 19:12

Dear People of St. David’s,

I pray that you and yours are well and that you are enjoying this lovely spring weather. Except for the smoke from the fires in Canada, it’s been one of the most beautiful springs in memory.  Let’s hope the summer is as lovely.

I also hope you will take advantage of these summer days to vacate your regularly scheduled lives to relax, renew, and do nothing. For some of us, that last piece of advice can be some pretty hard work. We are a society who values accomplishments. Instead of doing nothing, we do the following: talk, travel, garden, binge watch TV, work, and make plans and complete them.

If we are striving to fill every moment of every day with something or somebody, then there’s very little likelihood that we will even notice that God is here, much less drawn close to us. Part of the gift of the summer season is doing nothing. If we do nothing, then we will make a way for the gracious presence of God to touch our lives.

The line of scripture above is a favorite scripture for a lot of us who are trying to get or stay connected to God. It reveals the power and purpose of doing nothing. This line comes from a story about the prophet Elijah in the Hebrew scriptures. Elijah has been battling against the false gods of his day and against the king of Israel, who is seeking to take his life. Elijah flees and hides in a cave (doing nothing). God commands Elijah to go outside where God will speak to him directly.

A series of winds and storms rock the mountainside where the cave is located, a lot of busyness and activity, but no voice from God. Then a fire comes, but still no God. As Elijah waits, doing nothing, he hears a still, small voice, a whisper, the sound of sheer silence as one translation of the Bible has it. There, in the silence, God is speaking to Elijah.

It’s a wonderful, dramatic story which shows us one of the ways God speaks to us: in silence, when we are still, and when we’re doing nothing. Like God’s grace that comes to us through no effort of our own, so the voice and presence of God will come to you and me when we are purposefully doing nothing.

As we begin the summer season, let’s answer God’s invitation to do nothing so that God may speak to us and make God’s presence known. I can think of no better way to relax and be renewed. I hope you’ll join me.

Grace and Peace,

The Rev. W. Frank Allen