I’m sitting outside on my patio right now. The quiet of an Indiana evening surrounds me. For once, my mind is silent as I lean back in my chair and click my fingers across the keyboard. Silence has been rare lately.
It’s so easy to think right now when it’s the quiet of the evening. Prayers come easier. Thoughts are not so tangled. It’s in these moments when I understand why Scripture calls us to “be still”. We’ll drive ourselves crazy with
Lately though, I’ve been troubled by a question:
How are you supposed to be still in a world full of to-do lists, the steady repeat of responsibilities and requirements? Sometimes I long for quiet, monastic days when I am by myself and chasing nothing, simply because on those days it can seem easier to be a Christian. It can be so easy to seek Christ in the silence, in mornings filled with Scripture, a cup of coffee, and the calm before the day. It seems to be a great deal harder when your to-do list interrupts you, and people are depending on you to follow through. We live in the reality of movement. We live in the muddle and mix-up of daily life. How do you find the presence of God when the requirements on your life shift your focus to everything else? Days ago, I realized that I was doing a poor job of seeking the presence of God in daily life. I was letting my responsibilities and concerns overshadow everything else in my life–I began to focus only on what was required of me.
I’ve been thinking a lot about these questions lately, and I don’t pretend to have it all figured out, but I’m Learning a few things.
I’m learning that in moments of chaos we are allowed to reach for Christ, and that He’s our Hiding Place (side note that’s a book that everyone should read before graduating).
I’m learning that the Holy Spirit moves in our lives to sustain us in ways more real than these typed words, and I can stop having super-hero complex where you alone carry the world on your shoulders.
I’m learning that peace is indeed one of the Fruits of the Spirit–being stressed out is not.
I’m learning that worry and anxiety will glue your focus onto yourself more than anything else, and continue that cycle.
There’s a reason Christ tells us in the Gospels to avoid worry.
I’m learning that the voice of Scripture is more like a roar. It can be louder than the chaos, and that those quiet moments before the chaos can be your strength.
I’m learning that trusting God is better than trusting yourself.
But..I’m still learning all this. I think it’s the kind of thing you learn your whole life.
It’s my prayer that no matter where you are, whether you are visiting beaches, clocking into work, pulling weeds in a garden, riding a bus, packing for college, taking care of a grandparent, grading papers or whatever else you might be doing, that we would all learn to seek the presence of God wherever we are–that we would learn to be still even in the midst of chaos.
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