“Be still and know that I am God.”
This morning I awoke and lay in the semi-darkness, allowing the peace of the early morning to flow over me. “Lord,” I prayed silently. “Thank you for another day. Please help me to spend it as you want me to.”
Even as I prayed, my mind skipped ahead to the frantic schedule that lay ahead. An appointment with a lady who wanted me to be her mentor, singing in a scheduled concert, speaking at a meeting, finishing off a series of commissioned devotional messages for an overseas publisher, continuing work on my book, writing my next devotional blog for ICFW, walking the dog, making meals, oh yes, and finding time for my amazing husband. I knew, even in those early pre-dawn minutes that it wasn’t all going to happen. There wouldn’t be enough hours. A sense of panic started to claw its way up toward my throat.
Help me to spend it as you want me to. Was this how he wanted me to spend my day? Perhaps it was, but not in the frantic rush I already anticipated. If God wanted me to do all these things, He would supply the time. If there wasn’t enough time, then something had to be dropped. But what?
I have long since learned the phrase, “God first.” Before I put my foot to the ground, I had to spend time with God. To make contact with Him. Otherwise my day would be a mess.
As part of my daily Quiet Time with God, I am currently reading The God who Sees You,” by Tammy Maltby. She takes the verse I’ve quoted above and turns it around. “Be still and know that I am God” becomes “Don’t be still – don’t know God.”
When I first read this, I decided to print it out and stick it on the shelf above my computer desk where I would see it every time I sat down to work. Perhaps I need to stick it all over the house. Why? Because it is so easy to become too busy, to get caught up in the crazy schedule that faces me most days and to overlook the most important thing of all – to be still and know that He is God. Not the person I will see later today. Not the concert. Not the dog. Not even my husband. There will be time for all these if they are part of God’s plan for my day. But they are not God. He is God. Be still!
I don’t know who first conjured the life of the typical retired person. You know the picture. For the person over a certain age, life becomes so quiet and serene it’s boring. The woman sits and soaks her feet while she lovingly knits for her grandchildren and listens to her favourite radio programme. (Oh yes, she typically still multi-tasks, but at such a gentle pace.) I have to admit I haven’t met too many of those ladies! Wait. I don’t know any. But that’s the picture I used to have of retirement. The man on the other hand sits on the stoep and watches the day go by, usually with a pipe in his mouth – or he’s reading the newspaper.
What bliss. Or is it? Is that really what God would want of any of us? I can’t see Jesus sitting on the stoep reading the newspaper, can you? (Forget the pipe!)
At the same time, perhaps we need to bring back the stillness. Even a little. Can we not find a space in each day, somewhere, to be still. Maybe, like me, the best time to find that time is before the day even starts. Before I put on the bedside light and acknowledge that the day has begun. “Thank you Lord for this new day. Help me enjoy it for a few minutes before I get into the busyness. Help me be still and know that you are not only God – you’re my God.”
Will you join me? Today? Schedule a few minutes of stillness into your frantic schedule, and you know what? I think we’ll both find we achieve more. At the end of the day, we will be able to say, “Thank you Lord for this day that’s just gone by. I spent it as you wanted me to.”
Give it a try, and then come back and share how it went. Did you achieve less? Or did you get through more? Don’t be still – don’t know God. Makes you think, doesn’t it?