Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know.
We live in a doing culture. Think about the questions we ask each other:
How are you doing?
How do you do?
What do you do?
What did you do today?
What are you doing this week/weekend?
What are you doing with your life?
The to-do list.
The Honey-do list.
Just do it.
The one “be” question we do ask is to our children, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Even in this we are asking what they want to do when they grow up.
In my experience we also live in a culture of frenzied, exhausted, stressed out, lonely people. We struggle to find purpose. We struggle to love and feel loved. We struggle to find meaning and peace and wisdom for the moment.
For years I believed I was only enough when I was doing enough. For years I believed the answer was in the doing. For years I was one of the frenzied, exhausted, stressed out, lonely people.
But what if the answer is not in the doing?
What if the doing is just a hamster wheel that gets us nowhere but leaves us in absolute exhaustion?
What if the being is the essence of life? What if the being holds all the answers in the universe?
What if the being is what we were meant for and in the being the doing will take care of itself?
What if the doing is needed to survive but the being is the only way to thrive?
Last fall, when I began to really consider the possibility that this could be true, I began forcing myself to be still. At first I felt tremendous guilt for those being moments. They felt selfish and lazy. But I continued them because I needed to know what would happen. I was sick and tired of being sick and tired.
And then amazing things began to happen. My soul began to feel nourished. My depression began to lift. I began experiencing joy and contentment and hope every day. Not all day every day. But every day.
The doing must happen. Mouths must be fed. Bills must be paid. Dishes and laundry should probably be washed and babies occasionally bathed. But when we reprioritize, when we turn down the white noise and protect the moments that feed our souls, our souls overflow onto all that is around us giving us the opportunity to do out of inspiration rather than obligation. This is when everyone thrives. This is how we all become full.
Will you try something with me?
Will you sit in the stillness this week? It may be uncomfortable at first. May be unbearable even. But will you try it with me?
It can take on many forms. For me it usually looks like a walk or hike. Or it looks like driving alone with the phone and radio off. Sometimes it looks like journaling. A few times it has looked like sitting silently, alone, in the dark. Or sitting silently, alone in the woods, at the water or in my backyard.
Being still is to be present, to turn off the white noise, to turn inward where our souls dwell in communion with God.
Being still is to stop and get quiet long enough to hear the Still Small Voice, long enough to feel The Source, long enough to Know.
The goodness is in there. The Knowing is in there. The Light and the Love and the Beauty, they are all in there, waiting for us to pay attention, waiting for us to listen, waiting to be unleashed.
Be still and know.