Wednesday, September 24, 2014

What I Learned By Being Still

It's too bad I don't live in a more beautiful place. 

I thought I was going to die.

I was asked to sit QUIETLY FOR 45 MINUTES in the chapel, as part of a class. 

My skeptical mind kicked into panic: Um, is that even possible?  

So I tackled the task as any Type A would: Get some action items. NOW.

I scanned the chapel for potential activities.  Oh goodie, I can light a candle!  Oooh make it 3 candles!  And look!  I can scribble a prayer request!  In fact, I will write a novel of a prayer request! 

Relief washed over me as I accomplished my time-killing tasks.  I would be ok.  Then I glanced at the clock.  Seven minutes had passed.     

Uh oh.

Then I remembered that I brought my journal.  Hallelujah!  I will write like the wind!  I will sketch portraits of my classmates!  I will start a grocery list!  Oh the possibilities are endless!   

Feeling restored, with a smile on my face, I found an empty seat, made my myself comfortable, and breathed a sigh of relief as I began to write.

Except…huh.  That’s funny.  My pen wasn’t working. 

It was working earlier that day.  But now it’s broken???

I sat there for a second, beyond irritated.  Then my annoyance turned to amusement.  In fact, this crazy lady started giggling in the chapel.   

And that’s when I heard a loving message: Just be with me.  That’s all.

So I did.  I let go of the need to do, to just be. 

I sat there, so touched by this thought, that tears began to mix with laughter.

That was last February. Since then, I’ve become much better at slowing my pace, and being still.

Lately, I’ve been craving a lot of stillness.

This season of quiet has taught me three valuable lessons:

1. I like me. I think I’m pretty neat.  Sometimes I get so crazy busy with my life, that forget this very important fact. 

2. I learn my most valuable lessons in stillness.  Incredible ideas have arisen during this time.  Most importantly, I have a new clarity on what I truly need in my life. 

3. I can’t hear God in the noise.  He wants me to slow down, and enjoy being with Him. 

This week, I invite you to take some time not to do, but to be.  

All men's miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone. – Blaise Pascal

Yes, my soul, find rest in God;
 my hope comes from him. – Psalm 62:5

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