For my birthday, my mother gave me this beautiful weekly planner. A soft shade of blush, it is adorned with pretty flowers. I imagined writing out my weekly plan in beautiful calligraphy-type handwriting, floating through each week in beautiful, elegant peace.
I haven’t written on it yet. I like looking at it, though, all pretty and clean.
I’m afraid my weeks aren’t quite beautiful and elegant enough for this particular pad of paper. One day, I will probably use it, kind of like an experiment. But my reality is that my life’s schedule is scribbled in pencil all over the lined pages of a spiral-bound notebook. It has a cute cover, but it is 100% functional. And it is a mess. Grocery lists, memory verses, long lists of to-dos, game schedules, snack schedules, party plans, study notes, special dress-up-day-at-school schedules, and I’m sure other things I’m forgetting (which is, of course, why I have my planner).
As I go through the world, there are days my heart looks a lot more like my scribbled planner than my flower one. I get caught up in the whirlwind of to-dos and productivity and I forget that I am called to stillness if I am to know God. Stillness.
The older I get, the easier it is to see a big world at odds with the faith to which I have committed my life. It’s easy to be deluded by that shiny world, so pretty and comfortable and in some ways, safe. I can agree to follow the world’s ways and the world will probably like me more. But the more I chase the stuff (oooh…cute new blouse!) and the production (check, check, check on the to-do list!) and the noise (I can squeeze in just one more podcast if I listen on 1.5x speed), I can forget just a little who Jesus is, what He says about me, why I actually believe in Him, how important it is to lay down my life to make Him known, to glorify and love him with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.
How do we refocus when the world is spinning and our schedules are full and our hearts and minds are overloaded? Even if they are loaded up with good things?
We get still.
God makes it so simple. He will reveal Himself to us in the stillness.
We can know God when we quiet the other voices in our heads.
So today, I’m going to eliminate something from my planner’s to-do list. I can let something go, I’m sure. And I’m going to write the words “Be Still” on my pretty pad of paper because those words are just elegant and beautiful enough to deserve a place there. Then I’m going to open my Bible and pour over the words of Jesus. And I’m going to get humble and let God’s light flood my soul and reassure my spirit and settle my body and reveal His truth and utterly and completely rescue me so I can find that perfect peace the world doesn’t understand.
Because God is good. And He loves me. And He loves you. And He is waiting for us to answer the door where He stands patiently and knocks. Let’s all take pause and let Him in.
“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
“But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to Jesus and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her. “ Luke 10:40-42
“When I thought, ‘My foot slips,’ your steadfast love, O Lord, held me up. When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.” Psalm 94:18-19
“Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.” Revelation 3:10
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” John 14:27