Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Be Still and Know...

I always hear that summer is this relaxing time. Vacations. Leisurely strolls in the park or visits on a patio. Days on the beach. This is the time that life is supposed to slow down, or so I've heard. It sure doesn't seem that way, though. I keep getting asked when I get my holiday over the summer, like it's a natural assumption to make, and realize, that for me, this is not reality.

I just scanned through some of my favorite blogs and it seems that all of us have taken a sort of siesta break from our blogging ways. My confession is that all my spare computer time has been absorbed in learning all the intricasies of my new baby macbook. Man, I love being a mac owner. That aside, computer time, or any rest time, for that matter, just has not been nearly as frequent as I'd like. Not that blogging is the answer by any means, but perhaps I'm using it as an indicator. It seems like far too many of us are moving at high speed with a multitude of things fighting for top priority.

I need rest.

How do we let it happen: letting busyness take over, I mean?

Normally, I'm at least pretty protective of my Monday nights but lately it just seems like there's more and more going on until I feel like I'm careening through the journey of life, just trying to stay on the road. It's all worthy stuff but there's just too much. This journey feels like travelling on Deerfoot in rush hour...not the stopped, not moving anywhere kind but the chaotic, every man for himself kind, traffic weaving in and out, sudden breaking and non-existant turning signals. I know I've hit that point when sleep is difficult and I lay in bed either reviewing the past events or charting out the hours and days to come.

I need to slow down.

There's a couple of us at work that have been "working" to make this a priority. We've recently been blessed with the completion of the prayer garden at the College (I'll try to post pics this afternoon). It has been a complete paradise for me - especially when the sun is shining - and there's moments in which I'm convinced I've just got a glimpse of what Eden was intended to be...right here in Calgary. It seems silly, really, that that's all it takes but it's so important! The context is important! Anyway, we've been taking 10-15 minutes of our lunch break to pray together and share scripture.

See, I'm learning that there's two kinds of stillness; one that stills the body, a physical stop or change or pace. That type of stillness, however, does not necessarily require, cause or allow a stillness of the mind, the other kind of stillness, the one, I think, that's more important. So that's what we're trying to do, both in community and on our own.

Yesterday, it hit home again that this is why we do this: to be still and know that He is God and I am not. Here's just a few of the Scriptures we read that were great reminders...

Psalm 23:2
He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters.

Matthew 14:23
After he had dismissed them, he went on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.

Luke 5:16
But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed

Jesus took time. He didn't try to do it all at once or without being connected to His Father.

I've been thinking alot about who I want to be and what I want my life to look like. The overarching picture for me is that I want to be like Jesus and that means being connected to the vine. John 15 has become an incredible picture. Stay connected to the vine. Remain in me. Abide...which to me naturally brings a sense of rest. It's only in that condition of heart, mind, and body that I will ever bear fruit...or figure out the details of life.

I'm working on it. This morning on the way into work, I stopped at the lilac bush outside the College doors and breathed deeply of the beautiful frangrance, filling my lungs and somehow, my soul, saying a prayer of thanks and repentance as I approached my day. It was a small gesture but a necessary reconditioning of myself to Him.

He is God and I am not.






If I'm in too much of a hurry am I really following? Have I truly put the person of Christ ahead of me on the journey? Am I keeping my focus on him as I'm careening out of control?

Slow down in both mind and body.

God is God and I am not.

While the busyness of our lives distracts us, somehow the stillness reminds me of that simple truth.

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