It was movie night and my husband and son were glued to Karate Kid (the new one with Will Smith’s son). Observing the influence of a female counterpart the Karate Kid asked Mr. Han, “How did she do that while she was doing nothing except being still?” Then Mr. Han said these profound words, “there’s a big difference between being still and doing nothing.” Wow, no wonder he is the Kung Fu Master?
There is a big difference. We all know the results of doing nothing whether we are moving in circles and accomplishing very little, or just choosing to give in or give up. But, being still before God is an active state. When I’m still, that’s when I can give all of me to God. To seek direction, actively listen and receive confirmation from Him. When I do this, I have what I need to be a loving wife, a good mother and everything else that God has called me to.
Most days I am very busy, I’m always doing something or going somewhere. I’d love to just sit still and be, but I’m afraid I won’t get anything done. I’m afraid of being thought of as lazy. Growing up with a military Dad, we were not allowed to just sit around doing nothing. Being busy appeals to our sense of being productive, making progress, and having a good work ethic. Yes, those are all good things, that good people do, to be good stewards of time and resources.
But now that I’m an adult, I continue being busy all the time and it’s exhausting and not always productive. Unfortunately, I’m passing on that expectation to my son. I won’t allow him to be still. He often tells me that all he wants to do is, “nothing.” He’d like to come home from school and do nothing for a minute, or two. I sometimes agree to it, but I feel the need to remind him of all the things that will be waiting for him when he’s finished “doing nothing.” I am playing old tapes in my head.
I don’t think that is the most beneficial way to be anymore.
There is never an end to the work in this life, or getting everything checked off your list for good. Busy can just be a distraction from where our attention should be. So for the past six months, I’ve intentionally created more space in my life for reflection on what I do, and why I do it. I’m meditating upon one scripture:
Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.”
There is so much freedom in these words. First we have the physical rest to just stop for a while and let our minds slow down and focus on things above. When I make space for this reflection time, it reminds me of my true motivation. I want to do what God wants me to do, when He wants me to do it. My busy activities should come from the desires and opportunities God puts in front of me.
Not only do I want this for me, but I want to give this gift to my 11 year old son. My son needs encouragement and permission to be still, so he can hear from God. I can lead him in this way and teach him the benefits of being still.
A friend challenged me to choose a New Year’s Resolutions for 2017 that was not a list, not even one sentence, but simply one word. Knowing God has put this call in me to come and be with Him I knew I had one word, and my word is “still.”
I can’t wait to be still this year and see how things are re-ordered. I can’t wait for the rest and to draw closer to God in my quiet times. I have a feeling I may accomplish more than I ever have before, by being stopping everything to be still.