Being Still [Is Hard.]

Photo courtesy of Taylor Schulz Photography
Photo courtesy of Taylor Schulz Photography

 

I’m bad at a lot of things:

Math.

Sports that require hand-eye contact.

Timed-tests.

Dancing.

Math.

Walking up stairs without tripping.

Reading my textbooks.

Remembering everything I’m supposed to remember.

Math.

But one thing that I’m really–I mean really–bad at, is being still.

My foot and fingers tap to their own beat. I toss and turn in bed at night, waking up in a twisted cocoon of sheets and blankets. If I sit too long, my legs start to ache and itch with undiagnosed Restless Leg Syndrome. I enjoy being involved, so I’m constantly running from one activity to the next. And my mind–

My mind is like Looney Tune’s Tasmanian Devil: in, out, up, down, around and around.

IT NEVER STOPS.

Seriously. I crawl in bed at night (or sometimes early morning) after a long day of class and homework, practice and work, and suddenly my mind thinks making a detailed outline of my entire life to date, what I need to get done tomorrow, and what I should do with my future is a terrific idea.

And this is bad.

Because, you see, God clearly tells us toBe still and know” that He is God.

But I don’t know how to be still. 

I tend to be a Martha instead of a Mary–running in circles until I’m so overwhelmed I can’t take another step when I should have been resting at the feet of my Lord all along.

Maybe it’s because my dad has always set an example of working hard from sun up to sun down (and sometimes the middle of the night). Maybe it’s because, in a family of 10, we’re always on the go. Maybe it’s because I live in the good ol’ US of A, where time is money. Or maybe I’m just ADHD.

But, whatever the reason, my inability to just sit and be without any distractions has a negative impact on my relationship with God.

Don’t get me wrong. I definitely didn’t have trouble being still in bed when my alarm went off this morning, contemplating if the fourth class of the semester is too soon to start skipping (it is).

But when it comes to mental and spiritual stillness…well, forget it.

Oh, it’s easy for me to talk at God–I have plenty on my mind at all hours of the day. But a relationship is a two way streetGod and I will never grow closer if I’m the only one talking and He’s the only One listening. 

So what’s a girl to do??

I use dozens of words to tell God how awesome He is–But He says to just be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46:10).

I give all my problems to the Lord and then turn around and try to solve them myself–But He says He will fight for me, I need only to be still (Exodus 14:14).

I tell God what I want–But He says to be still and wait patiently for Him (Psalm 37:7).

Shoot, He even told the wind and waves to be still (Mark 4:39) and they listened to Him. 

If waves can learn to be still before the Most High, shouldn’t I be able to? 

Photo Courtesy of Taylor Schulz Photography
Photo Courtesy of Taylor Schulz Photographesy of Tay

Being still is hard. Like, really hard.

But it is something God commands of us–and, more than that, it’s something He desires for us.

He doesn’t want us to be stressed out and running around all the time–He wants us to experience His peace and to hear His guiding voice.

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t have all the answers, and I don’t know how to be still. But if it’s something God desires for me, I know He will teach me to quiet my heart and mind before Him–

Even when it’s hard.

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4 thoughts on “Being Still [Is Hard.]

  1. What a great post, Brook! Know that you are not alone in your struggle to be still! It sounds so easy…just be still…but I agree with you that it is so hard! I too am much more like Martha than Mary! Thanks for sharing this! It’s nice to know I am not the only one who struggles with this. Have a blessed day!

  2. Bearing in mind that white evangelicals from privileged backgrounds are overly concerned with theology, as the rest of the world wonders at their next meal, consider for a moment that God loves you, it’s all you need to know, and go spend some time with Buddhists learning mindfulness meditation. You may not learn to be still, but you will expand and be able to sit with yourself, and accept yourself in peace as exactly the wonderful person you are.

    1. While I agree with you to a certain extent, knowing God loves me should compel me to act upon this love and show it to others. I do not consider myself, as you put it, to be “overly concerned with theology.” Do I find it interesting? Yes. Do I believe it has a place and a purpose? Of course. But I more so believe James 1:27 in that “religion that God our Father accepts as true and faultless is this, to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” I appreciate what I think you are trying to say, but I never want to simply accept myself “in peace as exactly the wonderful person you are” because then I would not be allowing God to work in and through me.

      Being still is hard. I think I made myself clear in that point! But quiet time listening to and soaking in God’s presence should fill me SO THAT I can pour into others, not so I can be satisfied with myself. Thank you for taking the time to read and to comment–you definitely made me think hard about how I wanted to answer!

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