Oh, If I had a dollar for every time I hear or see ¨Where has the time gone? And slow down time! And time just flew by!”, I would be a very rich woman indeed. Where HAS the time gone? Our baby boy will be two in a few months and I swear the past 20 months have been a blink. A BLINK. He is a full on walking, talking, reading, climbing, kissing toddler and those tender middle of the night memories of when I nursed him are becoming foggy....distant. He will be 9 before we know it.
My brother texts me a quick prayer starter every morning and today it read, ¨One of the most important things we can learn in this day and hour is how to be still. I believe that one of the significant reasons so many of us are burned out and stressed out is that we don’t know how to be still. We don’t really know God and do not acknowledge Him. And it is only by spending time getting to know Him that we learn to hear His still, small voice so that He can direct our paths. We need to learn to be quiet on the inside and stay in that peaceful state so that we are always ready to hear the Lord’s voice. Many people today just run from one thing to the next. Because their minds do not know how to be still, they do not know how to be still in their heart. If we will just slow down and quiet our minds enough to hear His promptings, we can live in a place of peace, ready to respond obediently. It is easy to see that leading a peaceful happy life, free from exhaustion and burnout, is not all that complicated, as long as we remain still before God.¨
I don’t know about you but I don’t think I have ever really heard that voice….that whisper. I have certainly felt His presence and known He was there but I have never really HEARD a voice and I have always wondered if perhaps there was something missing... If maybe I am not quite connected enough to hear Him or maybe He is too busy or maybe I am not ‘worthy’ of the voice. If any person on this planet runs from one thing to the next, it is me. I have a busy mind and I work most efficiently when my mind is occupied….by a million things. This week my swimmer will begin practices and our week will consist of Monday night basketball, Tuesday night basketball, Wednesday night swim, Thursday night swim, homework, studying for multiple UIL events, an open house at our business, preparing for Art Walk on Saturday, friends in town, getting ready for Bible study next week, painting furniture, blah, blah, blah, etc., etc., etc. ZERO stillness. Even in my quiet time in the morning while I read my devotional and my Bible, my mind is wandering off to a thousand different places. That my friends is where the time has gone. When is the last time you spent an entire block of the day being still? When is the last time you spent an hour being being quiet, being small, being open? Our time is spent driving, corralling, fretting, working, stressing, chasing, checking, Facebooking, texting, Instagramming, emailing, worrying and losing precious moments. There is a line in the movie Hook when Granny Wendy says to Peter, as his cell phone rings for the 800th time, “Peter, YOU ARE MISSING IT.” We are ya’ll. When I was a child, my parents unplugged our television for about 6 years. None TV. Zero TV. Nada TV. No The Voice. No college football. No 48 Hours on Saturday night (that seems incomprehensible to me). We were shoved outside to climb trees and eat mulberry pies and play hide and go seek around the block. God wants that for us I believe. He longs for us to TURN. IT. OFF. Shut it down and seek him or perhaps there is no seeking required. Perhaps in that stillness and solitude, He will seek you. Sister friend, there is so much life happening right before our very eyes but we are not seeing it because of an acute overload of stress. A list of to do’s so intense, we wake up and a year has gone by.
"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10
I want to be still in my heart. I want to make time to lie flat on the floor and be still in MY SOUL and let God go to work. I want to LISTEN. I don’t hear it because I am NOT LISTENING. I have a best friend who just won a bodybuilding competition. Through this training process, the transformation she undergoes is beyond belief: “Someone asked me why do you compete? Months of dieting, not being able to indulge in birthdays and treats, hours spent in the gym, early mornings of cardio...my response? It is my gift exchange with Christ. These mornings? They are time to get to know Him. These hours in the gym? They are time to refine my spirit and attitude. These food choices? They show me that He gives me discipline that bleeds over to every area of my life and builds my character. It is NOT about me - this is about Him. I give Him all the glory in the everyday victories and the ones on the stage as well!”
Gift exchange with Christ. Isn’t that an amazing thought? As the holidays approach and we add even more chaos to our crazy busy schedules, I ask you (and mainly myself) to ponder a different kind of gift exchange. Time. Whether you are in the gym or lying flat on the floor, find a time slot for your relationship with Christ. Find a place for the voice. Turn off Fox news, remove the FB app from your phone, get up 10 minutes earlier and be still. Be still.
In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps. Proverbs 16:9
He is there. He will establish our steps. He will exalt us and lift us up on high. He will speak to us and change our hearts and our paths if we will just let Him.
And at the end of the movie, Granny Wendy says to Peter, “So your adventures are over? And he replies,
“Oh no. To live….to live, would be an awfully big adventure.”