Be Still and Know
What is it about being busy that makes us feel so important or so valuable? In our culture, it is as if the busier we are the better we are. For so many years I believed that. When someone asked me how I was doing, I felt really worthy if I was able to reply “busy!” Last year at this time I was working full time and taking on a full load at Liberty, I was so busy, and often proud of it, but I had lost a piece of myself in the process. I wasn’t writing, had stopped dreaming and was spending all of my time just doing. Just going, going, going until there was no where else to go. I was fulfilled in my work and was accomplishing my goals by finishing my degree, but at the end of the day I didn’t feel anything but tired and was beginning to lose the joy in the work I loved. It was something that busyness just could not fill. I needed one thing, to be still.
Be still and know.
Today our lives command so much attention. From morning until night we are constantly bombarded with phone calls, news, and information. It never ends. And if many of you are like me, if I am not doing something, I am reading something, listening to something, or talking to someone. I found that I can’t even grocery shop without calling someone on the phone! I have forgotten to just be.
So many days start with Instagram and end with email. So many days I do not take one minute to just sit, just think, and just listen. So many days fly by and I have no idea where they went.
This past year I have spent a lot of time just being. A lot of time waiting or in transition, and honestly, a lot of time frustrated. It has become so ingrained in me, that if I am not checking off a long “to do” list, then I am not fully living. I have found it hard to believe that sometimes just being is ok. I have struggled in those waiting times and transitional moments, but this past year I have had to learn to look beyond check lists and tasks to accomplish. This past year I have spent a lot of time being, and this past year I have found my true self one again. A self that got buried under busyness has come into its own.
Many of our days in East Africa had little structure, and much of the time if we wanted to be able to send an email or check Facebook we would have to take a 15 minute drive down the bumpy dirt road until we got signal. You have no idea how excited we would get when I would yell for Mwita to stop the car, because I found 3G! Those mornings though, I would wake up with the sun, my heart full of passion and my mind full of dreams. We wrote, talked, dreamed, and wrote some more. We planned our life and gave our minds the freedom they needed to be creative. Some of our very best moments and ideas occurred during those long mornings of stillness. Dreams and ideas that will shape who we are for the rest of our lives. That was a tough season for us, but one I would never trade.
This season I am in now has been a season of waiting. I think that can be the very best season, not easy, but so good. A time of waiting, sometimes wanting, and just resting in Him because we don’t know what else to do. Those vulnerable moments. Hard moments. Still moments. Those times when our only words are “Guide me.” Those are the types of short prayers I have been saying in this season. Those prayers from the deep places of our hearts, that sometimes I can hardly find the words, but He knows. He knows my heart. He knows the place I am at, and He hears me in it.
Sometimes when my heart is burdened I cover it up with doing, but I know deep down that what I need is to come to a place of rest. Those places of stillness are where we really begin to hear and to understand. It’s where we gain clarity and where we are able to listen to our hearts. It is in the stillness that we find rest and comfort in His presence and in those moments He is able to speak. How much more available we can be to our friends and family if we are fully aware of the things God is putting on our hearts!
I know life is so busy. I know there are things we HAVE to do, lists we have to check off, but I encourage you to take some moments of stillness. Some moments just to be, to open up your minds and your hearts to the things that are being spoken to you. In those moments we gain the strength and the understanding to carry on in our hectic lives. Please don’t be busy just to be busy, but give yourself the freedom to also just be.
Be still and know that He is God.