I like to think I’m okay with peace, a slower pace, and stillness.
I like to think I’m okay with quiet.
However, sometimes I really struggle with wanting a schedule, order, and to be that terrible b-word:
Busy-ness means productivity in our culture, but does it mean the same thing for our hearts? If we continue to live lives consumed with scheduling and time-consuming practices that serve very little purpose to our well-being and spirit, what are we doing to our souls?
Does micro-managing our lives down to the nth degree serve our hearts well? Are we able to grow closer in our faith if we don’t even give our schedules wiggle room for things that feed our spirit, like quality time with our friends or significant other?
Spontaneity does not always come natural to me.
I love being adventurous and doing things out of the ordinary for me, but that often means that I’ve researched the adventure and figured out all the logistics of said adventure before I actually take the plunge of starting that adventure. For example, last week I took a day to explore the city of Denver while I am out here on my clinical rotations. I could have just have woken up and driven around until I found a coffee shop to study at and then let my adventurous spirit lead me the rest of the day to find fun things to do, but I didn’t. I searched Yelp and found the top coffee shops in Denver, then narrowed my search to Pearl Street, then decided on Steam Espresso Bar. I even premeditated the fact that I was going to go to the Denver Art Museum and figured out the cost of admission if I wanted to go see this particular temporary exhibit on French female impressionistic art.
As you can see, spontaneity isn’t natural for me. However, adventures are and I’m beginning to learn that not having every minute of every day planned out gives you the freedom to be present in each moment.
For the first time in a long time, I don’t have a set schedule and the perk of that is I am able to be still more often than not.
Stillness doesn’t equate to unproductive time. It doesn’t mean that you aren’t doing something that fulfills you. It means you are doing something that FILLS you.
We need to value taking time to be.
One of my favorite books of the bible is the Psalms. No matter what you are struggling through or working through mentally, physically, or spiritually, the Psalms provide encouragement and wisdom for it. And in Psalm 46:10 it says,
“Be still, and know that I am God.”
We feel God’s presence more fully in the stillness. We experience more of his goodness and person in peace and solitude. We can’t listen to his voice if we are being bombarded by the world. From the moment we wake up, we constantly have a million different voices vying for our attention. Alarms buzzing, family asking what they should wear to work, radio hosts telling us about the next big music hit, co-workers wanting to know what you did this weekend, background music playing at the dentist’s office…the voices never end. But making room for stillness is what God calls us to do to understand him more and to grow in deeper relationship with him.
How can you do this practically?
Take time to look introspectively at how you live your day-to-day. Are there moments when you are alone, the phone is off, or the door is closed that you can utilize as moments to spend in stillness with God? How about in the car or early in the morning before everyone in your house wakes up, take advantage of those moments and spend them in stillness either in prayer or digging into God’s word.
He will speak, we need only listen.
I started listening to an audio bible in the car by using the free YouVersion app and that has significantly altered my mood during my daily commutes in the car, because I am enriching my time with God’s truth. Wake up a few minutes before your spouse, roommates, or children and dig into a daily devotional. Ask God to be a part of your day from the very beginning of it and see the fruit that will follow.