Psalm 46:10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
How often are you still? Do you stop? Ever? Many of my friends hardly ever stop. Even when they do stop physically, their minds are still racing, and they don’t truly get any rest from their hectic lives. Being still takes focus. It’s not easy at all. You can start to feel guilty, wiggling around thinking about all of the things not getting done while you’re “being still”.
What do we miss in our hectic lives
In Psalm 46:10, God says to “Be still and know that I am God”. What a blessing of being still! For many years I had worked a 40 hour a week job. I actually worked a lot more hours than that, because I had a virtual commute. It always sounds so wonderful. I got to work from home! But that has its pluses and minuses. Yes I could run and get my boys when I needed to, and if something came up I could take care of it. The truth is, usually those things didn’t come up, but instead I would be more likely to allow my work to impede on my family time. I would be doing fine, playing a game or watching a movie with the boys when I would think of one more thing that I could get done before tomorrow (so that day would be “easier”). I would work on that while I was “with” my boys. I would not be fully present in either, not accomplishing anything of value in the end. The next day was not easier, as I had plenty more to worry about that day.
Each day my minds raced. I wanted to be sure that my work was visible even though I wasn’t in the office. I wanted to make my work successful for the business, my bosses and myself. I wanted to do well, so I could feel good about my work. What really happened, because I never took down time for my brain is I was not my best. When I would over work myself, in the name of dedication, I would push myself beyond what was useful for any of us.
Clearing your mind
I don’t know about the other women out there, but clearing my mind is a foreign concept to me. Even when I am sitting still in a quiet room, my mind is not clear. I may be having 25 different thoughts in less than a minute. My mind is all over the place. Do you remember the scene in Ghostbusters when they’re told to pick what will destroy them by what they think, and their plan is to clear their minds so that nothing will destroy them? That was always such a ridiculous scene to me, because I couldn’t even conceptualize emptying my brain. Is that a man/woman thing, or just a problem I have? I’m not sure, but if it had been me out there, we would have had 20 or more things to fight off with our proton streams.
And Know that I am God
Being still, clearing our minds takes practice. One of the great benefits of having the hours you spend for work reduced is you have time to practice being still. Since I reduced my hours (and recently had them reduced again for me), I have been given the opportunity to work towards being still and knowing He is God. I have started to use the prayers I learned at the prayer retreat I went to (the Jesus Prayer and Lectio Divina) to get me closer to being still. Then I will sit after those prayers and just try to “be” in God’s presence. I’m not saying I’ve perfected it, but the promise to know God better is one worth doing.
Do you know how to be still?