This message has been resounding in my head lately. And if I’m completely honest, I have been doing my best to ignore it. Our pastor returned a few weeks ago from a three month sabbatical. He is rejuvenated and excited. He started our church 20-some years ago it has grown to have over 2000 members. He has taken a sabbatical twice in his entire ministry. So, he came back and immediately started talking about…REST. He talked about intentionally slowing down. He gave an example of how during the summer, he spent the first TWO hours of the day with God. He talked about intentionally turning off the electronic devices.
To be brutally honest, that’s when my hackles went up. My immediate reaction was, “Are you going to babysit every morning?” Two hours of peaceful quiet time is just not going to happen in my current life stage. I can type this now because my kids are watching Bob the Builder. That gives me about 23 minutes, if Sean actually chooses to
sit still watch the show.
So, two weeks ago, our schedule was really busy. I knew we should slow down. That week, I hurt my foot doing some speedwork for the marathon training. Begrudgingly, I took a week off from my marathon training schedule to let it heal. Not having to squeeze in a bunch of long runs, (18 miles takes me a good two and half hours of solid running), slowed our schedule down. (Even though my run plan is only three days a week, it is usually around 6 miles of speedwork, 8-10 miles of tempo work, and an 18+ mile long run. It’s a definite time commitment when you add it to the 8 workout classes I teach a week.)
The following week was back to normal. Then the week after that, we had our usual stuff, plus a few extra meetings. The adoption meeting was on a Tuesday. The purpose was to meet other families in the area adopting from Ethiopia. Jesse and I were both excited to go. We had been at the meeting about five minutes when Sean unloaded his stomach contents on Jesse. Jesse ran to the bathroom with Sean, while I tried to clean up the mess. I joked with the host that they wouldn’t forget us and then we all headed home. Throw up slows EVERYTHING down. Sean got the bug on Tuesday, Trent had it by Thursday, Jesse got it on Saturday. Thankfully, I somehow managed to avoid it, but we could not GO anywhere. We managed to juggle schedules (and my parents came down to help) so Jesse and I could both work, but the extras all went out the window. This week, we started at full speed again.
Yesterday, my mother in law volunteered to watch the boys for a few hours. I taught a class at 8:30am, then had some free time. I thought about going shopping because I have a gift card to burn, but I felt led to have a Jesus “coffee date.” Normally, the only realistic time for me to have quiet time is during nap time. Trent goes to the playroom for quiet time and Sean takes a nap. I get about an hour before Trent is ready to come out. When I’m disciplined, I make this happen, but it’s also the easiest time for me to do EVERYTHING else – blog, clean, prep dinner, plan my spin rides, etc. So, often times, quiet time gets put aside for something else. As I sat at the coffee shop, I prayed that God would help me listen. So I opened my Bible to read and it happened to be Psalm 46. Psalm 46:10 reads,
“He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”
At that point, I felt like saying, “okay, okay, okay.” I hate being intentionally still. The whole sit and wait on the Lord thing is tough for me. With the adoption, we are already in a major sit and wait phase. It’s easier to be in wait mode when I’m busy because then I don’t have to think about the waiting. I much prefer busy mode to intentional wait mode. “Intentionally being still” doesn’t equate to laziness. It just means being intentional in what you do and listening to and aligning your actions with what God wants you to do. I prayed about it and took away some of the clutter in our schedule yesterday and today.
This morning, I woke up, got my coffee, and checked Facebook. One of my close friends (not knowing all that has been running through my head these past few weeks), posted this on her wall today:
NACR Daily Meditation
Tuesday 18th of September 2012
Be still, and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
We need to be reminded that we are not God.
This seems pretty basic. You wouldn’t think it would be hard to remember. But we get so caught up in proving ourselves by performing, achieving and rescuing that we forget that we are humans with real limits. We fill our time so full of frenzied activity that there is no ‘stillness’. And when there is no stillness, it is hard to remember who is God and who is not.