This was the first reading at Mass today. Here is the whole shebang:
At the mountain of God, Horeb,
Elijah came to a cave where he took shelter.
Then the LORD said to him,
“Go outside and stand on the mountain before the LORD;
the LORD will be passing by.”
A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains
and crushing rocks before the LORD—
but the LORD was not in the wind.
After the wind there was an earthquake—
but the LORD was not in the earthquake.
After the earthquake there was fire—
but the LORD was not in the fire.
After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound.
When he heard this,
Elijah hid his face in his cloak
and went and stood at the entrance of the cave.
-1 Kings 19:9, 11-13
This reading, even above the gospel, spoke to my heart today. Elijah, he was no fool. He waited and waited until that thing which was truly God showed up. How often do I ask for great, grandiose signs from God? I seek the flash and the bang, the proof if His almighty power.
Stop the wars, Lord.
Save the life of this precious child from abortion, Lord.
Send a miraculous healing rain, Lord.
Big, big, big. More, more, more.
It’s not that I think we shouldn’t ask big things of God. No, no, no. He is mighty and we honor Him by trusting in His might. It’s more that I’m not really that great of a listener. So often I talk into the wind, so that when it dies down, my voice even drowns out the silence. Or worse yet, drowns out the tiny whispering sound that is God. What if I were silent, and patient, like Elijah? If I waited through all the things I want God to be until I experienced the voice that was actually His, whispering to my heart? How much more would I hear?