At Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington, there is a room that has been created to remove every sound from the outside world. It’s called an “anechoic” chamber because it creates no echo at all, and the background noise of the room approaches the lowest threshold for what is called the “absolute zero of sound.”
After just a few minutes inside the room, people typically lose their balance and have to sit down or leave. After several more minutes, you can hear your own heart beating! The longest anyone has been able to stay in the room is about 55 minutes according to Microsoft representatives, but most ask to leave within the first few minutes or even seconds.
I was thinking about this room as I was reading Psalm 62 as there are several encouragements pursue to what Gerald Wilson describes in his commentary on this Psalm as “holy inactivity.”
The “holy inactivity” in this Psalm is described as “keeping still” and being “silent” in one’s soul (waiting- verses 1 and 5).
We don’t know the exact circumstances of the Psalm, but it’s clear the psalmist and the community are being assaulted by wicked people bent on taken advantage of others and tearing them down in any way they can.
What’s interesting is that the exhortation from the psalmist is not to run away or escape from the wicked, but rather to trust in God’s power and steadfast love and simply wait upon the Lord.
This seems to many of us counterintuitive as our first response is typically to defend ourselves against those who are assaulting our integrity. Yet the call here is to become silent before the Lord, to acknowledge our dependence on Him, to place our trust in the Lord’s power and steadfast love, and to pour out our hearts before the Lord.
Those are wonderful encouragements and yet they are difficult for us to put into practice. Our tendency is to focus our attention on the tumultuous storms of life all around us; struggles at work or school, difficulties in relationships, concerns regarding our health, political and cultural upheaval all around us, worries and fears for our children and grandchildren, assaults on our integrity, the loss of a loved one, opposition from those who have an agenda or an axe to grind against us, and the list can go on and on.
Those things seem like a relentless storm, pounding on the doors of our hearts and minds, demanding that they be the focus of our attention.
But when we center on the Lord, when we focus on His larger and quieter voice, acknowledging that the Lord is our rock, our fortress, our salvation, and our refuge, those things are deprived of their power and fear in the light of God’s strength and love, becoming nothing more than a tempest in a teacup.
It’s not easy to sit still and be silent before the Lord, but the rest we find in His presence is so very good for our souls. And don’t forget the promise to us personally and corporately, twice repeated in this Psalm by the way, we will not be shaken (vs. 1, 5).
My encouragement to you is to find the time and space to simply sit in silence before the Lord every day. At first, it won’t be easy, and you won’t be able to do it for very long. But with continual practice, you’ll find that you able to sit in silence for longer periods of time and you’ll actually crave that time alone with the Lord.
God bless you and know that you are prayed for constantly.