How good are you at being still?
Do you ever sit for 10 minutes looking out a frost covered window onto the sparkling freshly fallen snow?
Do you ever get in the car to just drive and think? Do you ever take a walk down by the river all by yourself?
I’m thinking about stillness. Though I am rarely still, I sense a need to be still. Mostly, I keep talking and moving and doing.
I long to be still.
Now, obviously, I’m not really considering a no-movement type of “stillness,” although that too may help. Instead, I’m referring to a cognitive choice to quiet my mind and soul.
To be still might mean taking a walk and letting our busy minds hit pause for a few minutes. Or, watching the fire burn and allowing our spirits soak up the comfort of warm air and flames flickering. Being still may mean getting up early or staying up late so that we can hear the quiet presence of the One who is ever at work on our behalf.
Being still means we are listening instead of talking, negotiating, begging, and demanding.
In his book, “Directions,” author James Hamilton writes:
Before refrigerators, people used ice houses to preserve their food. Ice houses had thick walls, no windows and a tightly fitted door. In winter, when streams and lakes were frozen, large blocks of ice were cut, hauled to the ice houses and covered with sawdust. Often the ice would last well into the summer.
One man lost a valuable watch while working in an ice house. He searched diligently for it, carefully raking through the sawdust, but didn’t find it. His fellow workers also looked, but their efforts, too, proved futile.
A small boy who heard about the fruitless search slipped into the ice house during the noon hour and soon emerged with the watch.
Amazed, the men asked him how he found it.
“I closed the door,” the boy replied, “lay down in the sawdust, and kept very still. Soon I heard the watch ticking.”
Ok, maybe, we should be still of body too. Well, anyway... moving on.
I am drawn to the passage of scripture that reads, “Be still and know that I am God.” Truthfully, even those words rush over my lips as I continue.
So, with a great act of unhurried intent, I wrote in my journal:
Be still and know.
Be still and know that I am.
Be still and know that I am God. —Psalm 46:10
Just taking the time to write it out, word for word, helped me to practice “still” for a moment.
Be. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, feel your lungs expand.
Be still. Don’t write, don’t walk, don’t talk.
Be still and know. Know that you will take another breath, you are safe, you are loved.
Be still and know that I am. In your quietness be assured that the great I AM, the everything and everywhere, is present.
Be still and know that I am God. The creator and the sustainer of all things is near and speaking.
Be still... hear the ticking. Be still...feel God nearby. Be still... and know peace.