What are you doing right now? Are you reading this while doing something else? Smartphone in one hand and cooking dinner with the other? Reading on your laptop while the TV is on? What sounds are all around you? As I write this, I just heard the backup alarm of a truck working outside, heard 3 cars drive down Wyoming Ave, the heating fan is running in my office and I heard a cart being pushed down the hallway. Oh, and I have some music playing from one of my playlists (Currently David Wilcox singing “The Farthest Shore”. Are you……still…?
Yesterday in worship, we focused on Psalm 46, especially the final part of the psalm as we think about what it means to be still and know that God is God. Pastor David shared some of the things that the Lord shared with him was about finding the places in his life to be still and listen to the Lord and see where the Lord is at work.
One of the things that immediately comes to mind for me when I hear a message like this is, “hey, my life is busy. I have responsibilities as a father, husband, and to my job. Where can I possibly find quiet and a place to be still?” It can be a challenge, without a doubt – it takes us making choices in our life to have those spaces for stillness. They do not come naturally to us. But you can start small – don’t feel like you need to spend an hour every day in stillness (although that would probably be incredibly healthy for all of us). Here’s a great way to start (and this can be done most anywhere)…
– If you can, close your door.
– Sit back in your chair or recline on a couch (even sit on the floor if that’s comfortable for you)
– Take a few deep breaths – One great method I have been using is to do the following 4 times – breathe in for 4 seconds through your nose, hold that breath for 7 seconds, and then gently release that breath over 8 seconds.
– Think of a Psalm (such as “Be Still and know that I am God”) or say a quiet prayer in that stillness.
– Take a few more deep breaths.
Slowly expand that time until it can become natural for you. You can add more in – read a Scripture passage at the beginning and focus on that throughout the stillness time, have a prayer that you pray each time you do this time, and so forth.
But make a choice today to find that stillness in our lives to try to focus intentionally on what the Lord is saying to us – may our eyes be tuned to the reality of God, our ears open to what God is saying and may we each experience the reality of God in our lives.