"Be still and know that I am God."
Be still and know, says God in the much-quoted psalm. Our Maker ties our ability (and willingness) to be still with knowledge. But knowledge of what? What is it we don't know when we are not still?
When I go-go-go with little time to enjoy a slow meal, a relaxing walk or time set aside for reflection on the events of my days and weeks, I've noticed a few things.
I become restless inside.
My sleep suffers and so does my ability to listen deeply. With many basic needs unmet, I become self-centered. I don't stop to smell the roses and have little time or energy to consider the needs of others. I become impatient and have trouble relating to others, especially the hurting.
Can you relate?
When we don't stop to become inwardly still, we miss out. We neglect the sunset that calls us to reflect on its Maker. We miss the beauty all around us, whether in nature or in people. When we go-go-go, we miss out, and it hurts us (and others).
This is a terrific formula for burnout and a lack of compassion. But Psalm 46:10 implies that our lack of stillness helps create an even bigger problem, one that transcends our temporal lives.
If we're not inwardly still, if we're always on the go with few rest stops to reflect on life and what's of eternal significance, this go-go-go lifestyle affects our ability to know and recognize Truth and God Himself. Though we may complete our to-do lists through such haste, we have missed our Maker, the One who imparts wisdom and helps us live the rich, full lives we crave.
God's call for us to be still and know is of critical importance. And it feels very different from haste.
When I take time to be still, perhaps through gardening, music, or painting, nature walks or simply sitting with God in silent, trusting prayer, peace returns. My mind quiets down and I experience a deep rest in my soul. And in that stillness I experience God's presence.
I hear God's gentle whispers of love and comfort and there, with God, I rest.
Such stillness is a gift, for in it I discover the God who never left me, though I'd wandered off once more. And the more I sit with Him, the more I recognize His voice — the voice that rescues me from impatience and haste unto love.
Be still and know that I AM God, says God to you and me.
Be still ... that you may know, experience, and believe that I AM God. Your God.
Listen to Fernando Ortega's rendition of Be Thou My Vision to help you be still today.
For more inspiration, read Seek and You Will Find: The Joy of Relationship.