In one I seek to know God as He is. I calm myself to encounter Him in prayer. I listen for His voice. I come to know His love by being present to Him.
In the other, things are much more chaotic. I strive to find His will in the things around me. I spend my days trying to make sense of all my experience so as to discover the answer to the ever-present question: Where do You want me to serve You?
It seems at first glance that there should be some way to bridge the gap - that I should be able to make His quiet Presence fill the hole left by the tireless questioning and seeking.
I'm reminded of Elijah waiting for God on the mountain. Elijah was wise enough to let the earthquake, strong wind, and fire pass him by without a care. He knew the Lord was the still small voice.
And here's the thing: I do too. Do you know how I know that I know? Because I said it at the beginning of this post. (Remember? "In one I seek to know God as He is. I calm myself to encounter Him in prayer. I listen for His voice. I come to know His love by being present to Him.")
I look to the chaos to find the will of the Father. I beg for the earthquake, wind, and fire to reveal the still small voice. But the Lord was NOT in the wind. The Lord was NOT in the earthquake. The Lord was NOT in the fire.
I have to let go of the earthquake, wind, and fire. I have to be wise enough to know that my desperate striving to make sense of my daily experience is fruitless striving.
The Lord can bring me answers, yes. (And I wait with great faith, hope, and trust that He will.) But I have to let the confusion and chaos pass by so that I'm still on the mountain when the still small voice speaks.
When I chase the questions, I miss the Answer.
And He said, "Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD." And behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and broke in pieces the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. And when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went and stood at the entrance of the cave. And behold, there came a voice to him, and said, "What are you doing here, Elijah?" 1 Kings 19: 11 - 13