Psalm 46 contains one of the (to me) best lines in all of scripture: “Be still and know that I am God.” Those eight words—admit it, you just counted them—have meant a great deal to me in busy times, through worrisome times, and even in joyous moments. I remember walking outside during Nicole and my wedding reception to move the car around. When I got in, I couldn’t make myself turn on the ignition. I was so overwhelmed by the generosity of family and friends, and all that they’d done to ensure we could have the best wedding possible, that I broke into tears. That deep sense of gratitude allowed me to take a moment, to be stilled, and to thank God for the blessings of those around us.
Less than a year later, my father died. In my mind, I almost immediately went into ‘savior mode’. I began calling people to let them know, I started making plans for mom (without her permission), and I initiated processes by which we’d all come through this tragedy. This was about a week after he passed. Then, the night before the funeral, I broke. I had to walk away from a living room filled with the same friends and family from the wedding—the same people who’d lifted us up and taken care of us; only now, I wanted to weep and be alone in order to avoid burdening them with my sorrow. I sunk to our bedroom floor and wept. Hard. My sister-in-law Tiffany was the one who found me. She didn’t say anything, she didn’t try and ‘fix’ me, she simply sat down and let me ‘be’. In that moment, I experienced another opportunity to be still, to know God loved me—even if I didn’t feel that love at that moment through my sadness. It was right then that I thanked God for dad’s life, I dried my eyes, and I asked that He be there the next time I needed to break. Sometimes being still isn’t easy.
Fast forward. I’m a priest, in case you didn’t know. J This life can be full of all kinds of stuff—the days run together, the meetings are endless, and the clown-car of emotions from day to day can be overwhelming. But I still find time to ‘be still’ and listen to God, for the most part. I could always do better, but then again, nobody’s perfect (another life-lesson that seems difficult at times).
I think we all struggle with this notion of being still. We all have so much on our plates—being busy isn’t a competition, and the overwhelming feeling of being stretched in fifty ways is unique to each of us, as each of us is capable of different levels of busy-ness. Do you make time to be still? Do you take time to be with God, one on one, whether you’re happy or sad, angry or just ‘there’? Taking five to ten minutes a day, multiple times if you can, to just sit and ‘be’ with God can make a huge difference in your daily life; I know this because it’s made a difference in mine. So even if you’re struggling (especially, actually), even if you’re happy, if you’re lonely, if you’re sad, joyful, worried, afraid…whatever/however you are, take a moment. Be still. Allow God’s grace to seep through the barriers built by that anger; allow God to join you in those moments of rapture; allow God to be known. And just be still.