Be still, not busy

Be still, not busy

May 24, 2013

Be still, not busy

Casey Greene, Berlin, N.Y.

       I first planned to write this article about two weeks ago. Then I promptly forgot all about it. Monday is student government, drama practice, and youth group. Tuesday I work in the bagel shop, tutor after school, and have The Landing. Wednesday is another student government and drama rehearsal day. You get the idea.

       I’m sure you’ve been there or are there now. We are always doing, always running around. Work—check. Dance practice—check. Dinner—check. Take the dog out—check. Then it’s bedtime and we’ve missed our quiet time again. That isn’t how it’s supposed to be.

       Being busy is not the problem. I love being busy! It makes me feel like I’m actually doing something. That’s fine. There are certain things we have to do. Also understandable. We just need to make sure we aren’t doing too much.

       Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” In our day and age there isn’t a whole lot of emphasis on being still. Go make money! Go make friends! Go get a job! We rarely hear, “Be still.” Yet, there is obvious importance in this simple message.

       First we need to know what “being still” does not look like. Being still is not saying a quick prayer before biting into your french fries as you speed down the highway. Being still is not praying, “Please Lord give me patience” when your little brother is crying because he can’t have chocolate cake for breakfast.

       Just talking to God or spending time with Him does not mean you have been still. I prayed. I was “still.” Close enough—check. Moving on…

Beacon quiet lady CLR

       I like to pray while I do things. I also like to be mostly on the talking end. The listening part is not really my strong point. I’ll say a quick prayer as I paint my nails or something like that. Most of my brainpower is elsewhere, thinking of the color, the pattern, or something equally unimportant. The idea behind being still is to focus on God, to listen to God, and to really get to know God.

       God is so amazing it’s hard to understand Him even when we’re totally focused. I’ll sit there for a minute or so and say, “Nope, didn’t speak to me.” I am only recently learning that I need to be patient. Patience is an important part of stillness.

       I love the fact that God is telling us to do this. God is inviting us, yet again, to seek and find Him. “Be still and know that I am God.” The verse goes on to say, “I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” This is amazing and powerful. The God of the nations wants us to know Him. Know that He is God, yes, but know Him even more intimately, too.

       So how do we become still before God? I don’t have a magic formula. It’s different for every person. When are you most relaxed? When is it easiest for you to be still?

       Next time it’s quiet and you have a minute, go off alone for a while. You’ll remember your lengthy to-do list, I can pretty much guarantee that, but it won’t matter. You will be still and you will know God.

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