Still, Still, Still: Answering the Audacious Call to Humility and Joy

The writing has been non-existent lately. A moment happens, I think I should write that down, and then I move on to more “important matters.” I have a schedule, after all. I have a job.

Working at an elementary school is rewarding, but it is no joke. Taking every moment of your day to interact with a multitude of naturally immature students in a mature, approachable way, and then evaluating and reevaluating how you could have done it better- that takes a lot out of you. And I’m not even full time.

So as I stare at the astonishingly blank screen and attempt to formulate complete, coherent sentences, I value so much the time. If the remark is true that absence makes the heart grow fonder, then I have grown remarkably fond of time.

Ann Voskamp once wrote that going through life without the pause, without prayer, is like driving down a street without stop signs. It’s a recipe for collisions, for brokenness and hurt. What an apt illustration. What truth.

So a while back I started stopping. But there is friction in the stopping. The friction that grounds us is the friction that keeps us from accomplishing all the things. right. now.

I wasn’t prepared for that. I adopted the rolling stop method. The city girl with her spiritual farmer’s stop. But even then: God knows how much I have to do. And if I sit, well then I may not stand up again. I owe it to my family to keep moving as long as I can before I completely lose it and collapse in a pile of nerves and stress. That makes sense.

You can guess how well that worked for me. Perhaps it has worked equally well for you. Our just keep swimming culture has done us a great disservice. It has cast the line that doing trumps being, and we have swallowed the bait hook, line, and sinker.

Who would have thought “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 51:10) would be one of the hardest commands in all of scripture?

How about “wash the dishes and know that I am God”? I like to think I have that one down. How about “Do, do, do and know that I am God”? I deceive myself and the truth is not in me. Because when I do do do, I believe the lie that all my doing is what will accomplish what really needs to be done. I do things to get things done- the important things. If I were still I would have to, I don’t know, trust God to accomplish things important to Him, and perhaps even without my interference.

I would have to live the Jesus-following life that walks by faith and not by sight. (2 Corinthians 5:7) I would have to pry my eyes for just a moment from the visual cues that tell me to do or be done, to compare, to judge, and I would have to fix them on the Founder and Perfecter of my faith who for the joy set before him endured the cross… (Hebrews 12:2)

The One who gives grace upon grace, who came that we may have joy and life and fullness and mercy and hope wants us to just be still. Not because doing isn’t important, but because it isn’t as important as Him. It isn’t important without Him.

And we will never find joy in the doing if it becomes all about the doing and stops being about Him.

I confess that while God’s Spirit resides in my heart, I have too often turned my heart from a home to a fancy prison where God is free to come and speak to me when I have a moment. I have taken counsel with my own pride far more than my God.

And when I confessed my faithlessness at His table yesterday, you know what I heard? “You are forgiven and free. Have joy. Go and have fun.”

No condemnation. A call to enjoy. To have fun.

So let’s be rebels and take a moment today to be still. Just one moment where we aren’t multi-tasking our relationship with God. Let’s foster a culture that breaks from all the doing to be still and know that God is God. That culture could really do some things. That culture could move mountains.

Let God first move in us.

*If you are looking for a tool to help you in your quiet time, your stillness, with God, I have found this prayer journal to be a lovely and inexpensive blessing: 

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