Sunday, June 30, 2013

'Be still, and know...'

Psalm 46:10 (NIV)

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
   I will be exalted among the nations,
   I will be exalted in the earth.”
If there were a way to rank all the words that could be used to describe my life, it’s certain “still” would be at or very near the absolute bottom of the list. Even last week when my home was empty and quiet, I was far from still. I had laundry to fold, dishes to wash, a lawn to mow — and I spent about six hours pulling weeds, which says quite a bit about how often I get to tend to our basic landscaping given all the other things we have going on.

Then the family returned and we hit the ground running. It started when they arrived well past bedtime on Friday night yet with everyone still awake. Saturday was our big to-do in the neighborhood park, and today got filled up quickly with church, errands and a low-grade home improvement project. I’ll spare you the agenda for the next week, but it’s enough to report there’s very little down time expected, and even our down time tends to be ripe with activity. Even the unborn child had the hiccups tonight — everyone is in some sort of state of motion.

This reality is, of course, no surprise whatsoever. The craziness of young is children the kind of activity we actually crave. I guess it let’s us know we’re alive. I honestly can’t imagine what serenity might feel like. I enjoy down time every now and then; a good meal alone with my wife is the absolute height of luxury these days. But even though I was productive when they were gone for a few days, it just didn’t seem right. I didn’t need to load the dishwasher, didn’t need to wash the diapers. When Kristie got back the dining table chairs were still in the living room when I’d moved them to vacuum. She was dumbfounded I hadn’t returned them yet — I simply explained I had no use for the entire living room when I was home alone.

Yet I must admit I do need to find time to be still. I must have moments where I am fully awake yet still I can put my mind totally at rest. In that quietness of body and mind I can fully communicate the matters of my heart to God, and only then can I truly hope to feel something in return.

As crazy as life can be — and it’s only going to get crazier — it is beyond reassuring to know God is along every step of the way. Whether I am busy or at rest, a little prayer is all I need to make the most powerful of connections. “Be still,” God says. “I’m trying,” I reply. It might not always seem that way from the outside looking in, but I promise, I am trying.

A prayer for June 30:

Lord, give me peace. Show me the times each day where I need to slow down, be still and just think. Stop my mind from racing. Open me fully to what you have to say. I know you are constant and I can call to you no matter the circumstance, but I need to me made to rest, quietly, in your love. Grant me stillness. I promise to make the best of each opportunity. Amen.

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