Stillness

Still. What does that word conjure up for you? It probably depends somewhat on your personality. Still to some means boring, it means punishment of having to stop wiggling when you were a child in church. But still can also mean that sound when all the children are finally in bed after a long and busy day. Still can mean that peaceful quiet of a lake or stream in the morning, when the only noise is the whisper of a fly-fisherman’s reel whirling as he casts, and the birds chirping in the trees. But still can also be that somber quiet when the last child leaves the nest, or when the realization hits that some beloved family member or friend is gone, and their voice will never be heard again.

How often are you still, truly still — when there is no TV or radio or conversation aimed in your direction? Is stillness an inviting prospect for you, or is it something you avoid? If stillness is uncomfortable for you, do you know why? Is it just not your nature — or is that an excuse you use to avoid being quiet with yourself and your God? Is there something you suspect you are trying not to hear in the stillness?

So, be still for a moment and think about the word. Invite the stillness to settle over you. Invite the “still small voice” of the Lord to speak to you and relate to you what He would like to teach you about stillness. You don’t have to plunge into a day of quietude, or take a vow of silence. Just set aside one minute more than you think you can stand, and be quiet — even try to still your mind, try to keep it from racing here and there. Perhaps just try a short verse, such as “Be still and know that I am God.” And try to focus on that when your mind begins to wander. Stillness isn’t easy. It goes against our nature, but the benefits of its practice are wonderful spiritually, physically, and emotionally.

by Sheri Cook, Director of Special Ministries