I have wondered why there is calm before a storm. Obviously it isn’t necessary, from a weather stand point. The sky hardly needs to pause before gusting blustery winds upon us. Yet there are moments of stillness, just before it feels like the Heavens open up and brings forth wind and rain. Is the calm provided to us, giving the world a chance to prepare? And if so, what are we preparing for; more importantly, are we prepared?

   Is there a reason why the night seems “still”? Do we pay attention to the stillness, or do we just take it as a cue for us to rest? It there a deeper meaning behind why we may actually need the stillness or calm of the day or night?

  Have you ever had a heated argument with another person? Did you notice that for a moment…there is silence? Why is the silence there, at that particular moment? One minute the two of you have limitless antagonistic words to say to each other…then there is a pause. Why? How were you feeling during the angry exchange of insults? How did you feel in that moment of silence? What were you thinking?

   Why do we laugh when we hear people say that while they were in prison or jail, they found God? We may find it humorous to think that a person can only find their Creator when he is taken away from his element. Is there ever a bad time to know our Creator? Perhaps, for some, prison or jail is the calm before the storm. Perhaps what happens at that moment will make the difference in that person’s life…and everyone he/she touches. Is it still funny?

   Why do we place children in “time out” or give them “quiet time”? What do we expect of a child during that time, other than quiet? I realize, when I make a correlation between an adults behavior and a child’s, it seems overly simplistic to some.

   But we, as adults, are teaching life lessons to children every day. These lessons are helpful to them as adults, as long as the message is not lost. So my question is posed, what lesson are we teaching a child when we give them time away from other children? What is the purpose of a “time-out”?

   I am of the opinion that silence…calmness…isolation are methods that our Creator uses to speak to us, internally. Most of the time, especially during the day…there are a million things going on, usually all at one time. We are waking up, taking showers, getting the kids dressed. We are preparing our day, going to work, thinking about what I need to get accomplished at work to get home on time. We are deciding what to cook for lunch and then dinner. We are deciding what clothes to wear, trying to get everyone motivated and moving so that our work is done in a timely manner. Sometimes I wonder if that is what God is doing, more on that later.

   Nothing is an accident. Everything has its time and place. If there is calm or stillness whether in the air or within us…it is intentional. The only question at this point should be…why?

  Why do I need things to be still? Why is there calmness before a storm? What am I supposed to be doing that I am failing to do? Are we moving too fast? Am I thinking about what to say, before I say it? Am I using my words like a weapon? Is my intention to hurt someone with my sharp tones and comments?

   When we have moments of quiet during a heated argument…am I listening to my inner voice? Did I learn the lesson that I was being taught as a young child? Why do we use “time outs”, as a punishment for children? For one thing, it is not a punishment…it is a lesson. We are teaching our children to think, before they act. We are showing them how to step away from a potentially hostile situation and come back with a fresh perspective. This is why this method of parenting can be useful. We are teaching our children how to think. We are teaching these tender souls how to listen to their hearts.

   Children are not little adults, but they will grow up to be responsible adults. We are teaching them how to take a moment to regroup. This is what God wants for us.

  And I can say He wants this for us, because of the calm before the storm. The calmness is what I call reflection. It is when that inner voice is telling you about your behavior. It is reminding you that speaking in anger will only create more anger and hostility. We are not thinking about our actions. Where did I hear someone tell me to think about my actions? Oh, on my Grandmothers couch…during “time out”.

  How can I be so confident about all of this? It’s simple. While we are laughing about the inmate who is claiming to have found God while incarcerated…God is embracing him. While we are making fun of someone who has to go to jail to be touched by God…God is showing him his true path. While we are throwing away and giving up on individuals that are incarcerated…God is waiting for them. Why does God wait on someone that we are willing to cast away as a waste of space? Simply put…God doesn’t give up on anyone. Our Creator loves us so much that he incorporates moments of stillness and quiet in our lives. He knows that those are opportunities for us, as human beings, to submit our will to Him. God loves us, as we love those children that are in “time out”. We are precious to Him. And even if we don’t get the lesson of the stillness…He will still create other moments of calmness.

   God loves us so much that He will lead us inside of a jail…to remove all outside influences. And if you don’t know first hand, let me inform you of this; when a person is incarcerated…they will feel like they have lost everything.

   God is all around us, His is the voice of reason and love in our ears. His voice is the one telling you not to argue, fight, hurt or war with anyone. His is the voice that we fight against. So, sometimes we feel broken down…but when it is God that is building us up it doesn’t matter if you are in a jailhouse or the White House. God is guiding us toward Him…He is making us whole…He is making us one.

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