|January Wallpaper by Critty Joy, available for download here.|
Being still and doing nothing are two very different things. Jackie Chan, The Karate Kid
Never did I think that I'd be struck by a quote by Jackie Chan, but there you go -- proof that God can use anything to get my attention.
I have been ruminating on what it really means to be still. And, then, what does it mean to be still and know that He is God (Psalm 46: 10)? And how is this somehow more refreshing, more filling than just doing nothing? Or, maybe it's not about one being better than the other? Perhaps there is a time for both. Maybe I need to do nothing (or at least slow way down) in order to even have a hope of gaining a sense of stillness?
And why am I struggling with this so much? Why am I seeking to find the difference between the two? Honestly, I think it is because I am having a hard time with the concept of rest and feeling rested after I have attempted to recharge, refill, and rejuvenate.
I have to admit, I'm not very good at doing nothing, and after I have done nothing, I usually feel sluggish, even more unmotivated, and hesitant to jump back into life. I just crave more "nothingness." I don't know if this means I am doing nothing the wrong way (crazy question, I know) or if I just hesitate to jump back into a world where there is always something that needs to be done, where there is little time to frolic, where the next down-time is so far off it's hard to imagine if it will ever come in the near future. So, basically, I leave rest time anxious for the next rest time. I don't think this is what it's supposed to be about. I've come to the conclusion that perhaps doing nothing tries to solve the problem of tiredness, but neglects to address the need to be refilled.
Maybe doing nothing is the first part -- to get my body and mind ready for what my heart and my soul need -- stillness. When I am still, I can hear God's voice. When I am still, I can know, thoroughly and completely that He is God. When I am still, I can cast my anxiety and cares on Him and He will receive them, lift them from my shoulders. When I am still, when my soul is quiet, when my heart is open, I can find refreshment. It's leaving the world behind for a few moments and allowing myself to just sit at the foot of the throne. And, you know, He might not even say one word, but His presence alone, everything He stands for, longs to fill me with Him. And that, sometimes, is enough. It's just what I need.
I know that often, Psalm 23 is read at funerals, but I find it ever so appropriate for those of us who live our days on this earth, for although we can look forward to eternal rest with God after our time on earth is through, we sure need rest to make this journey here count for all it's worth.
A psalm of David.
1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely your goodness and love will follow me
all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD