In 1 Kings, 19:11-13, we read: “Then He said, ‘Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.’ And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces 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. So it was, when Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave.” NKJV Study Bible
How often we look for answers in what’s loud and/or dramatic to change us – change anything. And we miss the simple and the subtle for an answer, for God.
Every now and then someone gets it. Carl Sagan, the late astronomer, had his main character in “Contact,” quote a philosopher saying that when faced with multiple choices, the simplest tends to be the right one. Yes, this perspective is in good company with the above Scriptural quote. Here is a more non-philosophical, everyday approach to the above suggestions. Don’t we tend to look for the government to end or start something? How can we end violent crime, we cry? The answer must be gun control! And after this answer, we find arguments as to 1) whether this is in fact the answer and 2) how to define it if we are going to apply it. One person may say eliminate all gun ownership and another will say that people should be able to own some guns but not others. And if we are going with guns, then there is the question of regulations.
And the arguments go on and on, becoming ever more complicated and yes, loud. The “still small voice” here is what is ignored and overlooked, perhaps deemphasized.
There are many possibilities here. One might be these questions that each of us would ask ourselves. How supportive am I with other people? How friendly?
How caring? How grateful? If many people read this and ask such questions, wouldn’t that have an effect on violent crime? Why then, is this a “still small voice?” Well, like Elijah, our attention gravitates toward dramatic answers – at first! Something like smiling at people seems weak and ineffectual. But isn’t the still small voice where God really happens to be?
We can apply this Biblical example to many of our questions and concerns. Try it and find God.
Peace, Fr. Walter