“Be still and know that I am God”
It amazes me how peaceful my dog Maggie looks when she sleeps. There is such tranquility on her face as she snoozes the day away. I often find myself looking her way and feeling envy towards how she can rest so peacefully. Even when I do rest, there are usually a million things on my mind that keep me from actually feeling rested. I think back to years ago when I used to take the time to put on a record or read a book, sit back, and really rest. True, peaceful, rejuvenating rest. When was the last time you rested like that?
We live in a culture that radiates a performance-based mindset. It is an attitude that you are only as good as the last thing you accomplished. This is the worldview that we live among, one where making money and always seeking “better” is what makes you a success in life. This is not what the Gospel teaches, and not how God intended for us to live our lives when He created us. This type of mindset keeps us from that true, rejuvenating rest.
In Psalm 46:10 God says, “Be still and know that I am God.” How often are we still? Do we even remember how to live in stillness? We claim Jesus as God in the flesh come to earth, the perfect example of humanity, and we see in the scriptures that even He took time away from His ministry to find stillness in prayer. Yes, even Jesus took the time to rest. It is essential, despite what our culture tells us. But how do we find this rest?
1. Make Time for Daily Prayer and Reflection:
To truly see God’s presence in our life, we need to slow down and spend time with Him. Just like in any relationship, our time with God will help us to grow closer and more attuned to Him. This time is nourishing to the soul and helps to refocus our mindset on what is truly important.
2. Reset Your Priorities:
We are plagued by schedules that become more and more demanding by the day. How do we keep Jesus in the center of our lives in the midst of such busyness? We must reset our priorities. There are things on our “to-do list” which we truly need to do, but others that we feel like we need to do. Find the latter, and eliminate them from your day.
3. Invest in Your Passions and Express Them:
Our hobbies and passions in life should never fall to the wayside. They are not less important than the things that make us money, or the things we feel pressured to do. Just as we find joy in seeing the delight that our children find in playing, so too does God rejoice in His children enjoying the things that He put in our hearts to love. Don’t push aside what is important to you.
4. Be Present in All You Do:
Distraction is real in these times, but we need to be constantly on-guard and aware of it. Be pro-active in removing obstacles that prevent you being present in every situation. Now that you have reset your priorities, everything you are doing is something which you truly feel is important to do. Honor those commitments, and give nothing but your all to them.
These things will help us find stillness in our lives, daily moments where we can truly rest. In those moments we will meet God, and He will lead us to a life focused on presence, not performance.