A Scripture verse that has always fascinated me is I Peter 3:4, “but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.” (The emphasis is mine.)
Truth be told I do not really have a very good picture in mind for what a gentle and quiet spirit looks like, not in real life. I usually conjure up old movies of bygone days with women in flowy dresses and strong broad shouldered men who handled everything. Of course her spirit was gentle and quiet…Cary Grant or John Wayne took care of everything that needed to be taken care of. She could continue her sewing or whatever because her life itself was gentle and quiet.
Obviously that Hollywood version is not what God was setting forth in Scripture, anymore than it was an actual reality of life.
All that is to say that the summer rhythm I mentioned a few weeks back has not made itself clear. I feel like we are sorting of lurching from one activity to another day to day. The activities aren’t bad or a waste of time either. It’s all things we want us to do be doing…helpful to others, stuff that is growing and enriching us. There are just a lot of us and a lot of them and only seven days in a week and right now and I feel like this week is full and done before it’s really even gotten started. It feels exactly like it used to when my children were little and I woke up after them instead of before them. Like I was playing catch up for the rest of the day instead of leading.
So maybe next week I need to be better at managing and tracking activities. But I have also figured out something more important than developing impressive organizing skills and better time management.
I must develop the skill and discipline of having a gentle and quiet spirit. Because let’s face it, the rhythm of life is always, without fail, going to occasionally rise to a crescendo when I’m still in the downbeat. Or there will be the erratic drumbeat of some urgent something or other that adds a discordant distraction.
I cannot control all the variables that come and go in day to day living no matter how hard I try to act as the metronome for us. But I can make sure that my attitude, that hidden person of the heart, doesn’t start tapping out a panic tempo or worse, begins to play a cranky grumpy symphony that drowns out the melody of joy we should be tuned in to hear.
No matter the upset or upheaval, I do not want to add to the noise in a way that is neither helpful nor beautiful. I want to be quiet on the inside so that I can sort out the sounds and know which ones I should amplify. I want the song of my heart to be one that is fit to be heard by the King and encourages his people to sing along.