Tuesday, December 20, 2016

In the Stillness

You won’t believe what Jason and I did on Saturday.  Yes, this past Saturday, aka the last Saturday before the Christmas weekend.  Are you in suspense?  Good, but I won’t keep you waiting.  We did nothing.  Yep, absolutely nothing.  We didn’t wrap presents.  We didn’t attend any Christmas parties or church functions.  Due to the rainy weather, we didn’t even take Mitch for a hike.  In fact, neither of us left the house the entire day.  Sure, we fiddled with a few things here or there around the house, but overall, we had no agenda, no plans and no obligations. . . and it was glorious!

Honestly, I cannot remember the last time I felt so stress-free.  The entire day, I felt calm and at peace.  Jason and I got along beautifully (which we tend not to do when we’re both exhausted).  We watched Christmas movies and snuggled on the couch.  We chatted.  We played around with some projects with no real deadline or anything like that.  The day was the best day I’ve had in a LONG time, and much to my delight, the peace continued into Sunday.

Now, I can’t explain to you what a miracle this is.  Sundays in our world are chaos.  There’s so much to do, and Jason and I fill so many roles at church that Sundays tend to be filled with anxiety and stress rather than joy and peace.  I try not to let it get that way, but more often than not, by the time church actually begins, I’m feeling crazy and pulled in every direction.  After Saturday’s calm, I was somewhat dreading Sunday because I was enjoying my newfound peace.  But as I got ready Sunday morning, the usual “stress buzz” wasn’t there.  Jason and I both got ready with time to spare, got to church early and had everything ready to go in record time and with minimal effort.  All day long, things just seemed to flow in beautiful harmony.  Throughout the day, I found myself laughing and smiling until my face hurt and even feeling a childlike playfulness stirring within me.  I felt like a new person, and honestly, Jason seemed like one too.  Actually, I take that back.  We didn’t seem like new people; we seemed like the former “us.”  You know, the people we were before busy life took such a toll on us that we forgot how to live life and enjoy one another.

You’re probably wondering why I’m telling you all of this.  I guess it’s because this weekend has reminded me how important it is to take some time every now and then and just be still.  I know, I know, life is busy, and there’s so much to do, but if this weekend has taught me anything, it is that by taking time to rest and be still, I was able to accomplish more in the days to follow and to do so with a brighter outlook and a more positive attitude.  We have convinced ourselves that resting takes time away, but we fail to see how much more we can actually accomplish when we’re not running ragged.  I had forgotten this.  I had been running full-speed-ahead for so long that I was certain if I were to stop, my entire world would crumble around me.  But I stopped, and the world kept on spinning.  In fact, it spun better, and the effects of that one day of rest are still reaping benefits in my body, mind, attitude and life in general.  

I understand that it’s difficult to find time to just be still, especially this time of year, but I urge you to try.  I assure you it is worth it!  If God could find time to rest, so can we.  If He felt it was important to set aside a day for relaxation and stillness, it must be important.  If God told us to do something, I’m sure most of us would do it immediately.  So why do we have such trouble when God tells us to do nothing?

Be still, and know that I am God. - Psalm 46:10a

It’s a command, not a suggestion.  Will you obey?  I promise you won’t be sorry!

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