Three Ways to Be Still
It appears (from the comments on my last post) that it’s not just me who desires to sit at God’s feet. It’s not just me who struggles to find time to “be still” in the midst of full schedules & endless demands. So I’d like to dedicate this post to brainstorming ways to “be still”. Here are a few of my ideas and I’d love for you to share yours in the comments.
In college I took a personal finance course (random I know, but there is a good point here). Our professor, who retired by the age of 35, told us one way to save & gain financial freedom is to: “PAY YOURSELF FIRST” (after tithing of course…).
What he meant was before you pay bills, mortgage, buy groceries, you should set aside money from your pay check and save it in the bank. He drew the picture of a line of people at your door needing/wanting your money. There will always be places and ways to spend money. If you don’t pay yourself first you will spend all your money before you save a dime.
I picture the same is true with time with God. There are a line of people, needs, & demands waiting for me each day. It’s not like after I’ve fed my children, done all the laundry, checked email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, watched all my shows on the DVR…I’m going to say, “Now that all that’s done I feel like sitting down with my Bible and praying.” Not going to happen.
Extrapolating from his “pay yourself first” motto, I would use the motto, “BE STILL FIRST.”
I don’t want to be legalistic or strict… but if you want to know God & you have a life full of distractions…perhaps in order to be still you have to sit at His feet before life starts barging in.
I don’t think God needs an hour-long, 10 page, in-depth Bible study to connect with your heart. I do think some time is better than no time. Try getting up 5 minutes earlier than you usually do. Just 5 minutes.
In those 5 minutes begin with this prayer:
“Lord your servant is listening”
Then open your Bible and read one verse. Read it 5x. Ask God to show you through His spirit what He wants you to hear for today. Perhaps that little sip of living water will drive you to wake up again the next morning 5 minutes earlier…
John 4:13-14 “Jesus answered, ‘Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.'”
Midst of the Mayhem
I have four children. I know being still is the farthest thing from my reality once they all wake up. But it’s when they are awake I need to know God is my ever present help. It’s in the daily activities when I react in anger, get overwhelmed and anxious.
You may have heard me share about Susanna Wesley who threw her apron over her head in times of prayer. I think it’s a fabulous idea.
A friend shared with me a modern-day version of praying in the midst of the mayhem. She found there were two “trigger” times in her day: 7-10 am & 4-7 pm.
During those three-hour chunks of time she set alarms on her phone to go off every twenty minutes. When she sets the alarm she also types in the label portion (which normally reads “alarm”)…the words, “Rest in God”. Love. it.
Every twenty minutes a little chime went off reminding her to rest in God & pray. Apparently her children quickly picked up on these chimes and the effect they had on their mom. What a great model for her kids?
Not only should I start each day being still in His presence before demands come in or attempt to be still in the midst of the mayhem…ideally, once a week, I’d like to spend a large chunk of time in prayer and the Word.
Another friend of mine stays home and homeschools her three children. Since she doesn’t get a “break” during the week, she has set up a little personal retreat for herself every Friday night.
She has dinner ready and on the table. When her husband walks in the door after work on Friday, she walks out. Then she heads to La Madeline or Cafe Express (or some other fun little restaurant) by herself. Sometimes she may stare at her water glass for the first 20 minutes. But eventually she spends time planning, reflecting and being still with her Creator God.
What ways have you found to “be still” in the midst of busy lives & schedules? I would love to learn from one another in this space. Click here to comment.
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