Being Still

Little children will very often protest when it’s time to take a nap, because they don’t want to stop what they’re doing, or miss out on anything. I remember my daughter Jessica when she was about 4 or 5, wanting to stay up late, convinced she had been missing out on something after she went to bed. So one time we decided to let her stay up another hour or so, after which we told her that we were going to bed . . . leaving her all alone in the living room. Needless to say, at that point, she had no interest in staying up. In this way, we are all driven by an impulse to be stimulated and preoccupied . . . and often we don’t even know why.

In this age of information there are thousands of consumer points of interest hoping to captivate your unbridled impulse to be stimulated. And each consumer narrative seeks to define you by your self-doubt . . . so you’ll buy their product to compensate for your present lack of self-value. Similarly, news sources know very well where your thresholds for anxiety and fear can be exploited – so that their narrative of events is accepted, unquestioned. And then there’s social media, ever attempting to make you feel inadequate, with narratives about what you’re supposed to think and feel – forcing you to choose between the tribe you should belong to . . . and the tribe you’re supposed to hate.

And if that weren’t enough to wind you tighter than top, there are the myriad of complicating issues that arise within your work, friends, and family life – to make your head spin. So is it any wonder we daydream about the simplicity of being a child . . . and about taking those daily naps we didn’t fully appreciate? No doubt, this is because we long to dial down the volume (both the noise and the quantity) of static information in our heads . . . but then again — we don’t want to miss out. But what is it we’re afraid we’re going to miss out on?

Think about it this way: if on a regular bases you’re being flooded with the chaos of conflicting ideas about who you’re supposed to be, and what you’re supposed to do, relentlessly pulling at you to make a choice, or choose a side — then the likeliest thing that you’ve been waiting for might just be . . . a clarity of vision. Nothing is able to quiet the heart and mind quite like clarity of vision. It’s like a child at play, content to live in one moment at a time, unencumbered by any expectation that they should be doing anything else. There is an innate peace of mind that comes with clarity of vision, allowing us to reset to the default settings of “ . . . whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.”~ Philippians 4:8.

Psalm 46:10 admonishes us to “Be still, and know that I am God.  I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”— let this be your vision, let your heart and mind settle on this anchoring truth. It won’t make the clamor and chaos of your life go away, but it will give you the clarity of vision to live your life with purpose and meaning. It is in this stillness where you’ll experience a peace that passes all understanding . . . so maybe you’ll be able to take that nap now.


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