“Be still, and know that I am God.” Ps. 46:10
Recently one morning I looked out my window and saw a magnificent drama arise out of the night’s heavy deposit of dew. Misty droplets on the tree branches had transformed into miniature prisms reflecting the rising sun’s rays. The tiny droplets flickered in an ever changing array of colors. I stood there, mesmerized by the beauty of the twinkling sparkles of light.
Suddenly I felt no need to press on toward the day’s duties. It was a sacred moment – a moment to stand still, or rather, to BE still. As I reflect on this experience, I realize how we can become so conditioned to speed on through daily life that we forget how to stand still, I mean, BE still – still enough to cherish the blessings in the moment.
When our life becomes mostly about where we are headed next, we are in danger of never living fully and truly. We are constantly trying to live in what does not yet exist. But while we are speeding ahead in the fast lane we can never enjoy the subtle blessings immediately before us – such as the flickering sparkles in the tree.
It is God himself who gave us the expressions of beauty, and he has given us the capacity to enjoy them – for our benefit. We harm ourselves when we push ahead day after day, pressed down by heavy and burdensome loads, and blinded to what’s around us. Such self-flagellation is never a way we honour God’s gifts of grace. But it is a constant temptation. Thankfully God has provided countless release valves every day – escape hatches, through which we can be revived in our inner being.
This may seem too simplistic, not spiritual enough. It may seem selfish or demeaning to our high calling. But, in actuality, when we receive God’s miniature gifts with thanksgiving and joy, we honor him as our provider and as Creator. It is a way we love God. It is also a way we take care of our bodies and minds. And that is not evil! During his tortuous imprisonment and persecution Richard Wurmbrand found refreshment watching a spider.
By nurturing our capacity to BE still, to reflect on the small gifts in life, we also become fit for our calling to love others. As we learn to be still in our minds we become able to sense what’s happening with others – their own quiet heart-beat – their joys, aspirations, and fears. And then we can respond in love for who they are in that moment.
Who would think that the Great Commandment – the grand sum of all of God’s laws: to love God, others, and ourselves, involves such elementary “duties” as enjoying a spider or a water droplet?
May this be our prayer: Lord, teach me to be still that I might be refreshed and revived by your blessings.
Diane Eaton [email protected]