David Sisney joined The Church of the Resurrection in 1993. In 2009 he was one of the first members of the Downtown campus. He currently leads a small group and a Disciple 1 Bible study group downtown.
To borrow a line from one of my favorite movies, “Life comes at you fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile, you might miss it.” When you live life at a frenetic pace, how do you keep from missing it? Jesus’ final day happened VERY fast. A day filled with many emotions, among which anxiety, fear and hate loomed large. In all those emotions, what almost everyone seemed to miss was the clear message of love that occurred on that cross! As often happens, we didn’t really get that message until it was all over. That is how God works sometimes. In the chaos of the moment we don’t always get the message, but once the dust has settled the message emerges, perhaps enlightenment comes and we can make sense of the chaos. But you have to be open and be still…
As I reflect on the first half of my life, it seems that the times of greatest fear and anxiety have to do with the most important people in my life–my family. Whether it is a major health related issue with a parent or a growing pains issue with one of my kids, these tend to raise the most negative emotions inside me. It seems that the things (people) that really matter are the things that stress us out the most. Life can throw us some very serious curve balls, and these issues can pose a major challenge because they throw us out of control. When I add the stress of my career, family responsibilities, perhaps too many volunteer activities and the multitude of other things that fill my days, these challenges can completely overwhelm me. So I am trying to learn to embrace the quiet times—the calm between the storms. I am not perfect at this yet, as my wife would tell you. I still have a very hard time just sitting still and being present in the moment. For me, if the to-do list is not full and working, then I am prone to feel that I am worthless as a productive human being. I actually get depressed sometimes when I am not moving and doing things at lightning speed.
But it is in the quiet times when we can hear God—when we reach out in prayer and then listen for His voice. We can see His word in Scripture, reading the Bible and praying for peace. I am working diligently to live into the scripture message “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). I am a work in progress. “For I can do all things through Him who strengthens me!” (Philippians 4:13).
So as we evaluate the individuals who were the actual “witnesses at the Cross”—who are you in this scene? Are you even there? If so, which of these characters are you? I think I know who I would be, and I don’t necessarily like that revelation. So I am going to work hard to be still and truly understand the message of love Jesus delivered through the cross. I want to continue to embrace the peace the quiet times have to offer.
Return to the GPS Guide to read today’s scripture and reflection questions.