It was New Year’s Eve 2003. Instead of being at a gala or the city’s hottest bash, I was at home with my infant son and husband of one year.
Unlike years before, midnight was quiet with kisses and quiet whispers of well-wishes as we embarked upon 2004. As I drifted off to sleep, a scripture popped up in my spirit. Be still and know that I am God.
To this day, Psalm 46:10 is on repeat in my mind.
I say it aloud. I meditate on it.
I’ve tweeted it. I’ve Facebook-lived about it.
The one thing I haven’t done is exactly that – be still on purpose.
For years, I held the belief that being still is doing nothing. We tell ourselves to pray hard and hustle harder so where does being still fit in the equation? We tend to define stillness with a negative connotation.
The irony is, due to my lack of stillness, for years I lived my life on a treadmill. Moving but not going anywhere. Can you relate?
I tirelessly tried to make “something” happen. Whether it has been in my career, family or ministry, in my own strength the vision in my mind never came to fruition. In the natural, it appears hard work pays off – and it does.
But I’ve learned when we keep moving despite God-ordained barriers, our efforts are in vain. The more I try to accomplish, the more frazzled and stressed I become.
I don’t get quality sleep.
I emotionally eat.
I struggle with depression.
Yet, I keep moving. Until now.
That whisper back in 2003 is shouting in 2017. Being still is my resolution. The real deal with being still is not about doing nothing; it has more to do with trusting God enough to stop the struggle of doing.
When you’re ambitious – and want to be in control – stillness can be a battle.
However, I am learning the benefits of being still.
1. Being still forces rest. We can sing “I’m Every Woman” but in reality, we are one person. We can’t be the best version of ourselves when we are mentally and physically exhausted.
2. Being still redirects our steps. Many of us climb the ladder of success only to find the ladder is leaning on the wrong building. When we take time to slow down, we can identify the path we should be on.
3. Being still reinforces our faith. We hear the phrase “let go and let God”. Nice idea but for us go getters? It takes faith to let go so God can do His thing! But if we believe He is God, we must trust Him enough to be still – in our minds and action.
Being still is not giving up but giving in to the peace of God, versus the barrenness of a busy life.
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