A modern philosopher once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Ferris Bueller knew his stuff.
It is difficult to imagine a day when my time isn’t 100% occupied with something. It doesn’t matter if it’s work, chasing my daughter around, or scrolling social feeds. Something is always there vying for my attention.
I think we have a stillness problem.
Our lives overload us with a problem of ‘too’. Life overwhelms us with too many choices, too many distractions, and it leaves us with too little time. We can’t decide what to do because we are sifting through a haystack looking for a needle.
This problem hit me hard this past week. I stood in our church’s bathroom, getting ready for the next service, and I saw a plaque hanging over the toilet. It’s strange reading something over a toilet. It’s not something I’m accustomed to doing. I realize I say that, I’m usually reading something on my phone in the bathroom. Regardless, I was reading this small, artful plaque. It was a simple verse: “Be still, and know that I am God;” Psalm 46:10. The words hit me hard.
I am on the back-end of a very long season of work, full of monumental changes, and I am feeling fatigued. This spills out into all of my life. I have been tired chasing my daughter around. I am so exhausted, I barely have any quality time to give to my wife.
I read that plaque and felt God tapping me on the shoulder. This is for you.
We have a stillness problem. It makes us emotionally vacant. This vacancy makes us empty machines. And when we are empty machines, we just run the routine. When we aren’t still, we don’t know God, and we don’t know ourselves.
This Year, Next Year
I spent this past year confronting my own mess. I led a men’s sexual integrity group. I blogged about my battles with anxiety. But, in the end, I still have so much more to do. But I also need to learn how I can be still and know God. It doesn’t matter how many programs I get involved with. If I can’t be still and know God, then I’m just spinning my wheels without moving.
I want to accomplish a lot in 2019. I will publish my first novel by the summer. I want to draw more and do more for others. But I need to carve out time for stillness, so that I can make time to appreciate my relationship with God.
I encourage you to carve out time too. We can’t continue running in circles, spinning wheels, and thinking our success is determined by how busy we are. We aren’t robots. We’re spiritual beings who crave meaning. And no manner of accolades or pats on the back from management will fill that void.
Be still and know that He is God. Walk with Him in the garden. Make conversations in the silence. Appreciate the relationship in your life.