Finding Stillness

Psalm 46 tells us to be still and know that God is God, but when you are swamped with work, how can one find stillness? Lately, things just seem to be go, go, go.  There hasn’t been much time to be still. Even when there seems to be stillness, my mind has been racing at 200mph.

Most of us, if not all have gone through weeks such as this, so it isn’t news and it surly isn’t an experience all to myself. I read blogs where people write about how their weeks are jammed with so many activities of the church, that it is hard to come up for air or make room for family. I know several ministers who read this blog and all have full lives in which there is little time to settle down and just be still. It is a struggle for someone working in ministry to slow down when people are suddenly in need, when they mourn, or want to share their joys as well.  Let the record show, by the way, we ministers would not have it any other way.

Others whom I know that are frequent readers of these pages have admitted to me that they often catch up with me late at night or on the weekends.  Their days are jam packed with activity and responsibility.  Finding time to read blogs and such is low on the priority list.  Still, if one cannot find time to be still, even if only for a moment or two, how can he or she be able to listen for God’s voice and direction in their life?

During lunch yesterday, I noticed the sun was bright in the sky and the temperature was unseasonably warm.  I don’t know where the notion first came from, but I took my salad outside along with a book and simply enjoyed a time of quiet…a time of stillness.  Watching the cars go by, birds fly overhead and even the occasional walker following the path encircling our church cemetery gave me respite from an otherwise busy schedule.

I was reading from Henri J.M. Nouwen’s Home Tonight: Further Reflections on the Parable of the Prodigal Son.  What I found during this time was a stillness that I hadn’t felt for a while; a calm in the midst of the whirlwind if you will.  I recognized this as holy time, time alone with my Father in heaven.  Little did I know before hand, it was just what I needed.

It is difficult to find stillness. It is difficult to find a peaceful place to be alone for a while with God and allow the loving Father to care for and reassure the busy child in all of us. But it is important to find stillness. It is important, if even for only a few minutes that we take time to slow down and simply rest in Christ.  Spiritual practices such as devotional reading, meditative prayer, or listening to sacred music are all ways one can escape from busy schedules and make time to be still with God.  Such a healthy habit…such a wonderful experience to know that God is always with us, no matter how fast the current of the river of life seems to sweep us along.

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4 Responses to Finding Stillness

  1. heartofapastor says:

    I hear you. For me I get up early in the morning and find the quiet time that I rarely find during the day. It is so refreshing to sit in a quiet house (no TV on) with my coffee, Bible, journal and prayer list. If life gets in the way and I don’t get this time I feel lost. Taking time to be still is so important. If necessary write it in your calendar and plan it into your busy day. Protect it with your life.

    Thanks for your thoughts 🙂

  2. Vicki says:

    Maybe that is what I have been looking for in my “Lenten journey”…a way to find stillness in my daily life. Sometimes I drive to work, and I am so busy thinking, that I don’t even realize the radio isn’t on. Sometimes we are made to feel like being still is wasting time. If we aren’t constantly “doing” something, then we are being lazy, or unproductive. Sometimes the biggest hurdle in “finding stillness” is giving yourself permission to be still, and listen for God’s voice in the stillness.

    • heartofapastor says:

      My wife has a 20 mile commute to work each day on a rural Minnesota road. For her that is her quiet time. Actually…she calls her Jeep her “prayer closet”. I hear you, Vicki, our society definitely does not encourage “down time”.

  3. Pingback: The things of God | The Heart of a Pastor

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