Have you ever been really still? Calmed your thoughts, concentrated on your breathing, and closed your eyes to focus on your being, your existence in that second. Right now, I feel the stress of those around me who are incessantly moving, repeatedly complaining, and are continuously unhappy. I find myself closing my eyes, breathing in and out, concentrating on being and not allowing myself to get taken down with stress rising up around me like a tidal wave ready to sweep me off to sea.
Imagine with me the busyness of life being much like standing alone the middle of a crowded city intersection, people brushing past you constantly on to the next thing, the sound of people chatting on their cell phones reaching for immediate connections, and the smell of fast food wafting in the air that provides convenient solutions to hunger. You hear the sound of cars honking, dogs barking, and the clicking of shoes on the pavement. It is easy to allow yourself to get swept away with the chaos, but rather close your eyes, breathe in and breathe out, smell the slight breeze filled with changes of seasons, and still your thoughts inside.
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
It’s easier said then done right? It’s easier to allow the stress and chaotic forces to pull us in directions and grab our attention away from being still. Looking back on the week, I cannot help but find stillness in the moments when I reflect on the goodness of God and the gratitude for the amazing life I have lived and surrounded by loved ones. In the proverbial crowded intersection, I close my eyes think of all the little things that I have to be grateful for and I can’t help but smile and be still. The stress or things that steal our attention away mean absolutely nothing. However, we do a good job of convincing ourselves that we need to be concerned about meaningless things – job statuses, wealth, appearances, competing to always being first or right.
If you find yourself stressed, pressed, or being swept away with the chaos of life, then I suggest finding the gratitude in the things that matter. Make a list of things that you are grateful for and reflect on what brings meaning to your life versus focusing on the have-nots or comparing yourself to others. You are already fighting a losing battle because these things will never satisfy or complete you. Be still and know that God is in control. He is watching over you, will guide you, protect you, and be with you in ever moment so there is no need to stress, complain, compare, compete, or consume.
What is keeping you from finding peace and being still?