One of the benefits of “second half” living is that we can escape noise more easily. While I don’t like the hour I wake up these days, it gives me plenty of time to sit in the quiet.

Listening to Christmas music the other day, I was struck by the familiar line in It Came Upon a Midnight Clear: “The world in solemn stillness lay, to hear the angels sing.”

“Solemn stillness.” The absence of noise is an external place of quiet. But stillness is an internal place of peace. It is in stillness that we can wrestle the noisy and the negative out of our minds.

There is a Bible verse that says, “Be still and know that I am God.” Be still and know. Deep spiritual knowing requires us to be still.  All major religions believe that stillness and the pursuit of inner peace is the foundation to happiness and meaning.“Be still. Stillness reveals the secrets of eternity.” Lao Tzu

Perhaps we all have this deep need to know that the universe isn’t too big for us, a need to hear a whisper from God, whatever that means for each of us. Because of a painful experience I had with “religion,” I have found it difficult to connect with God in ways I used to. But I have found that God will always find a way to connect with me if I am listening. If I am still.

I believe that God comes through our pain, our sorrow, and our loss to bring us comfort and joy. With all the sadness flowing through our lives, “tidings of comfort and joy” gently usher in the happiness that can sit beside it all.

During this season, may we all find the “solemn stillness” in which we can hear both the angels sing and God whisper. It may look different for each of us, but  after all we’ve been through this year, perhaps we would all benefit if “the world in solemn stillness lay to hear the angels sing.” 

May we all be happy. May we all be still. May we all be at peace.

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