Tuesday, February 21, 2017

On Stillness



"Be still and know that I am God."  {Psalm 46:10}

I have heard this verse recited more times than I can count and I am still figuring out what it really means.  I myself have quoted it to others with the best of intentions.  

But what does it mean to BE STILL?  

Is it the act of remaining motionless?  No, it is more.  Deeper.  

My first memory of stillness was at a Young Life camp.  I was 17 and our leaders gave us 20 minutes outside, alone, on a hot July night in Goshen, Virginia to process the Gospel.  To hear from God.  To pray.  To be still.  

I didn't like it.

I like people and noise and energy.  But I'm a rule follower, a people-pleaser.  And so I was still.  

I don't remember what I thought or felt that night.  Truthfully, I was probably wondering if my now husband was into me as much as I was into him (he was also on the camp trip).  But I remember being still.  

I've now been a Young Life leader myself for 14 years and I've been to Young Life camp 12 times.  12 times I've been asked to "be still" on a starry night in summer for 20 minutes.  11 of those times I've felt uncomfortable, like I have to fill the silence for the first 10-15 minutes.  

But this past summer at camp, I just was.  I was still.  The whole 20 minutes I laid on a bench and looked up at the sky and was dazzled by the immensity of it, and the stars, and the brilliance of my Creator.  I was quiet and allowed my mind to be quiet, and I didn't rush to fill it with thoughts or even prayers.  

At one point, I saw the brightest shooting star I have ever seen - it was so bright it was more like lightning moving across the sky.  I audibly gasped - I couldn't help it.  Nearby, I heard countless high school friends do the same.  I even heard a "Whoa!"

I couldn't have said it better myself.  WHOA.  

When we are still, when we sit, when we don't  have an agenda - we can marvel.  We can hear from God instead of just talking to Him or at Him.  He can reveal Himself to us, and we can give ourselves to Him in a way that doesn't seem possible when we are running, going, frantic, praying, saying, doing.

Stillness.  I hated it.  I ran from it.  And now, after 12 nights of having 20 minutes of stillness...I want more.  

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