Just Be Still
I’ve raised kids and taught kids in all kinds of settings, and I love it. Children are honest, insightful, and hilarious. They aren’t afraid to speak their minds. So many times, I've learned more from children than they’ve learned from me–different perspectives, new ways to do things, ideas birthed from their imaginations and creativity. But anyone who’s spent time with kids knows they aren’t perfect and have a strong disposition not to listen.
When it comes to young children, there are always times when they simply cannot focus on anything. Their limbs and bodies move in opposite directions, eyes flit from one thing to another, and mouths run faster than adult brains can follow. Kids need to explore, talk, and be active. But we hit the wall and need them to step on the brake for the good of all involved.
A few days ago as I was reading my Bible and writing in my journal, I was drawn to Psalm 46. Verse 10 contains a familiar phrase I’ve heard often–”Be still and know that I am God.” Sometimes, I’ve heard something from the Bible so frequently, it loses meaning for me. So I took some time to really think about that phrase. And then a picture popped into my mind. I saw myself taking one of those whirling child’s faces between my hands, making eye contact, and saying gently but firmly, “Calm down. Take a few breaths with me. I want you to listen to what I’m saying.”
After chuckling for a moment, I realized the Lord does the same thing to us when we’re flying in a million different directions...if we let him. We find a lot of things to keep every part of ourselves distracted, and we forget to (or choose not to) listen to God’s voice telling us to slow down and focus on him. No more chasing busyness. No more entertaining anxious thoughts. No more believing that we run the world around us. Being still and knowing God means acknowledging that he is greater than everything else in my life.
Being still and knowing God means acknowledging that he is greater than everything else in my life.
The rest of verse 10 says, “I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Being still and knowing who he is asks us to dwell on his greatness. When we stop and really focus on his glory and intended place in our lives, everything else settles into peaceful reflection. There’s no room for focusing on self. It’s certainly not easy to be still. It’s not easy to put away everything that competes with our focus on the Lord. But it is worth practicing whose voice we are called to listen to.
My prayer today is for all of us to feel his gentle hands on our faces, and his voice saying, “Calm down. Take a few breaths with me. I want you to listen to what I’m saying.”