The prophet Elijah was told to look for the Lord not in the wind or the earthquake or the fire, but in the tiny whispering sound. This is how we usually experience God–not in extraordinary manifestations of the divine power, but in the quiet, mundane experiences that make up our daily lives.
When I am out with my camera, I am attracted to the quiet, peaceful scenes that are whispering to me. Immersing myself in such scenes brings peace and connection, first with the scene in front of me and then, if I stay with it long enough, to the Spirit manifested through the scene.
Elijah had to be open to an experience of God that was not earth-shaking. He had to discern what was God and what was not. He had to notice the connection between him and the Spirit of the Lord. Cultivating inner peace is what helps me make that connection with the Lord.
Christian discipleship of course does not rest there. As Psalm 85 tells us, “Kindness and truth shall meet. Justice and peace shall kiss.” The peace that we experience through our connection with the divine presence leads us to acts of justice. Contemplation leads to action. Living the Christian life leads us back to reflection. And the cycle continues.
“After the fire there was a tiny whispering sound. When he heard this, Elijah hid his face and went and stood at the entrance of the cave.” (1 Kings 19:13)