Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
Now that the last of the pumpkin pie is gone (although I admit we’ve still got a piece of pecan lingering in the fridge), the four-week frenzy leading up to Christmas begins. Welcome to the holiday season!
Buy the tree. Untangle lights. Hang the stocks. Buy stocking stuffers. Order Christmas cards. Mail Christmas cards.
This is my favorite time of year, but it can get crazy.
Early this week I was in “go” mode. As I was busy with my forever-long to-do list, it’s like I heard God whisper, “Carol, just stop.”
Asking me to stop is like asking me to cheer against the Vikings. It goes against my nature. I’m a all-out doer. Even when I’m sitting down my mind is busy reading, planning, figuring out, learning.
So I silently argued, “But there’s so much to do!” Didn’t God understand I had to follow-up with a client who needed a quote, finish up some writing and get ready for a class the next week? My mind raced down my long list of have-to’s and should’s.
But it’s hard to argue with God. So I sat in our big leather recliner and sat still, without my list, without my Bible. Just me and God and he said seven words:
“Be still, and know that I am God.
NOT “be busy” and know that I’m God.
NOT “do more for God” and know that I am God.”
Or like another version says, “Cease striving and know that I am God.”
In this verse it’s like God is telling us…
“Don’t try to figure it all out,
“Get it all done,
“Pack it all in,
“Knock yourself out.
“Instead, create space for me to speak.”
When we fill up our moments, even with good things, sometimes we crowd him out. He IS present if only we’d let stop long enough to hear him. He’s EMMANUEL, “God with us.”
So be still…
“Be still” ideas
- In the middle of the day, press your face against the window—away from your cluttered desk, unfolded laundry, unanswered emails—and look out at God’s creation. Thank him out loud for everything you see and ask him to bring other things to mind. (This is one of my favorite ways to focus on the Lord when I get caught up in the busyness of my day.)
- Set a timer for 5 minutes, close your eyes and turn your favorite verse over and over in your mind. If your kids ask what you’re doing, just tell them the truth. “I’m being still and listening to God.” Who knows, they might do the same.
- Leave 10 minutes early for carpool pickup, a meeting, for choir practice, etc., turn your cell phone on mute, crank up the volume on your favorite worship song and let the words wash over you. Be still and listen.
For your family
- Have everyone pull on their pjs, turn out the lights, and curl up on the living room floor next to the lit Christmas tree. Ask everyone to remember…all the good things God has done for for them, the ways he shows his love, the favorite things he gives them. Then have everyone be quiet and still, the older the child the longer the time. (Seriously, I do this with preschoolers and it’s amazing what they can do!)
- Sing, play or listen to “Silent Night.” Then go for a wintertime “Silent Night” walk and just tell everyone to be quiet as they can while they walk, remembering what that silent night long ago was like.
How do you put being still into practice?
What are some ways you quiet your heart when busyness is all around you?