So many voices compete inside my head— an echo chamber of deafening confusion:
     The obliger tyrant screams, “You must!”
     The inner critic scoffs, “You can't!”
     The pleading child whines, “I need you!”
     The scolding parent judges, “You shouldn't!”

They are noise that pollutes my soul's tranquility,
     distractions from what's essential,
     yet the cacophony drowns out everything else.

It's time to take a stand.
Stillness, will you be my friend today?

I breathe in air and space and light.
I breathe out noise and criticism and clutter.
Every gasp cleanses and soothes.
Every breath turns down the volume.

Breathe in—breathe out—quieter and quieter
Stillness seeps in and brings peace—peace with anticipation,
Because my inner ear strains to hear one voice—
The still small voice of God.

It's been there all along,
    waiting for me to subdue the other voices,
    waiting for me to stop and listen.

Speak, Lord,
Your word is a lamp unto my feet,
     illuminating the path I need to walk today.

You know I'm impatient;
You know I want answers…clarity…a roadmap—
     maybe even a burning bush.

But for right now, in the stillness of this moment,
I choose to be content with enough light for just the next step.
I advance in faith, trusting in your word to light my way.

Stillness, you are my friend today, and I am grateful.
You've made space for Spirit to speak.

~ Elizabeth H. Cottrell
November 14, 2017

Inspired by an exercise in Jean Wise's new book The Communicator's Companion: Devotions for Speakers and Writers.



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