Be Still

Posted by on Aug 5, 2014 in Articles | 1 comment

“Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with his mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.”  Psalm 131:2



I’ve never been able to just “be still.”  I get restless if I have to sit for too long without something to occupy my mind.  I can read for hours, and I can sit still for a good movie or a good performance.  But just sitting, forget it.  It won’t be long and I’m looking for something to do.  If there’s something I have to get done, sitting long enough to eat breakfast can drive me nuts.  I want to dive in and complete whatever the project is.  I’m definitely an “accomplishment person.”


I’m also terrible at waiting.  I want answers right away, results to be immediate.  When someone says they’ll call me or email me with an answer or some information, I’m climbing the walls after 30 minutes.  If I have to wait for several days, I start to worry that they’ve forgotten about me.  Do I call or email again?  Should I just assume they can’t help me and look to someone else for my information?  My mind starts to run wild.


This morning was one of my “I can’t sit here, there’s too much to do,” and “I haven’t heard from so-and-so yet, I wonder if I should call them” mornings.  My list from yesterday was unfinished and my list for today was longer than any normal human could complete.  But, I was determined to get it all finished.


Coffee was brewing, the dog had been fed, laundry was in the wash, my workout was complete.  I had only to eat breakfast and read my Bible before plunging into my list.  The phone rang!  Grrr…I don’t have time for this!  “Good morning, this (our cell phone carrier).  I’d like to share some upcoming promotions with you.”  It took everything in me to not say “Not now, I don’t have time for this.”  I decided instead to let her finish.  She was only doing her job and, if I did tell her I didn’t have time, she’d only call back again later.  Better to get it over with early.


The call was finished and I had just set down to eat my breakfast when the dog barked.  She had tangled herself around a twig and couldn’t pull her cable lose (a gentle tug and the twig snapped, but sometimes my dog isn’t too bright!)  Another delay!  Would I ever get to my to-do list?!?  The morning proceeded in much the same fashion – the washing machine was off balance, the phone rang two more times (wrong number and a political call…) and a neighbor stopped by with a question for my not-at-home husband.  By that point, I didn’t think I’d ever finish my breakfast, let along the list!


Sitting back to the table, I opened my Bible and took a bite of soggy cereal.  Maybe I could do my Bible study and wolf down my breakfast at the same time.  “If I read real fast, I could be through my scripture in a few minutes,” I thought, taking another bite.


“Okay, Lord.  I need my Bible time this morning, but I have so much to do.  Please let me understand it all – quickly, and please don’t let me have anymore interruptions,” was my prayer.  I had read two verses when the chortling of a blue jay got my attention.  It wasn’t the usual screech blue jays make.  It was a deep, from the throat sound.  I looked up from my reading and saw him sitting on the crook of the shepherd’s hook in our front yard, looking in my direction.  He cocked his to one side and chortled again.


“Nice,” I thought as I tried to return to my reading.


“Stop, just listen,” the gentle voice said in my mind.


“Lord, I have so much to do today,” I argued.  “I am trying to read Your word, after all.”


“I said ‘just listen.’”


I looked up and watched the blue jay.  He chortled again, cocked his head to one side and seemed to listen.  He fanned his tail, shook his wings, cocked his head and chortled again.  I expected to see blue jays from all over flock to the bird feeder or perhaps appear from some hiding place.  No other birds appeared.  He dropped onto the feeder, took a few bites and chortled again before hopping back onto the shepherd’s hook and doing his little tail fanning, wing shaking dance he’d done before.  I watched him for several minutes before he let out a screech and flew away.


I spent a few minutes just looking out the window, watching to see if he’d come back to the feeder.  A chickadee flew in, and a chipmunk appeared on the ground below the feeder.  The breeze rustled the leaves and the gentle song of my wind chimes rang from the backyard.  By the time I returned to my reading, I was relaxed.  I was able to take my time and really absorb what God’s Word held for me this morning.


I realized after I closed my Bible and had prayed over the needs on my prayer list that I needed that quiet observation this morning.  That blue jay’s singing and dancing reminded me of the many ways God wants to share time with us.  He wants us to see the beauty in His creation, to hear the songs it sings and feel His presence in every part of it.  Had I not set still for those moments, I would have missed the beauty and lost out on the peace that resulted.  My busy-ness would have robbed me of that precious gift.


There is a reason God tells us to “Be still.”  He wants to spend time with us, he wants us to know Him and He wants to bless with the peace and rest that can be had only by quieting ourselves in Him.

One Comment

  1. Oh my that is me too! it has always been very very difficult for me to just sit still, But daily God is teaching me to do so by bringing to attention the wonders of His world. . The older I get the more I cherish the peace that comes in quiet times spent really searching to know HIM better…thanks for the reminder!!
    Blessings and love, Wanda

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