Can you imagine Jesus . . . in a rush?
You are too busy. I am too busy. We are all too busy. And it is interfering with our relationship with God.
There is too much to do. There are too many demands on our time. We need to stop in the midst of our busy lives. Just stop. We need to be intentional about incorporating moments of Stillness into the insanity. We need to do it for us, and for God, and for our relationship with Him.
If you want to see how truly bad we are at being Still, just watch people standing in the line up at the grocery store. The last time I was at Costco I timed how long it took to go from the end of the line to the cashier. 5:14 minutes. Not long at all. But when I entered the line it looked like an eternity.
The Agony of Inactivity
We are like ferrets, always wanting to be on the move; always wanting to be anywhere but where we are - almost never fully present to the moment or those around us. As hard as it is to say nothing, to hear nothing, or to disconnect, doing nothing can be the most excruciating. None of this comes easy to my flesh. This is the one contemplative discipline at which I may be the worst. I always have something I want to be doing, and doing nothing is not it.
Not an Option
The call to stillness is not an option. It is essential. It is even a command.
Be still and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth. Psalm 46:10 MEV
It is easier to storm the heavens in violent intercessory prayer than it is to sit still and silent before God. Easier perhaps, but maybe less effective, since it is in stillness that He says He "will be exalted in the earth!"
Yes, there is a time and place for each kind of prayer; intercessory, praise and worship, warfare. But simply being still before Him is the one for which we do not often find the time and place.
It is essential that we listen to this call from God to come apart and to be Still. Only then can we truly BE with God.
Ruthlessly Eliminate Hurry
And as an added blessing, the spiritual discipline of being still helps you to slow down. How important is it to slow down? When author John Ortberg asked his trusted spiritual mentor what he needed to do to be spiritually healthy his mentor said, "You must ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life." Long pause."Ok, I've got that one written down. What else is there?" Another long pause. "There is nothing else."
This means the ability to be still is essential to becoming healthy in God. It is foundational to all of our Life in the Spirit.
Hurry, Worry, and Scurry
Why must we eliminate hurry from our days? Because hurry, worry, and scurry are the terrible triplets of tension that wreak havoc and ruin on all of life - mentally, physically, and spiritually.
There is an elevated sense of self-importance and self-centeredness inherent in those words. Being always in a rush can make us the center of attention and interrupt the flow of life around us. It can impair our walk with God and man, and pollute the atmosphere with stress that negatively affects everyone with whom we are in contact. Stress is contagious.
Stillness affects our relationship with place, with people and with the present.
- Stillness is the art of always being fully present to the place where you are. No dichotomy or dissonance between your body and your mind - both are in the same place. Stillness is not rushing through one experience or one social encounter so you can get to the next. It means arranging your schedule so you can do justice to the moment. We too often over schedule and find it difficult to simply be here, now.
- Social stillness is simply being fully present to the person with whom you are at the moment. Yes, sometimes we may have to make a gracious exit. But none of us are important enough that more people need us than those for whom we have time.
- Stillness means we are fully present to the present moment in time and space. Many times we are not. We are so hurried, and so distracted that we do not even notice where we are in this moment. Our minds dwell on past events, both pleasant and painful. Or they are focussed on the future as we properly plan for the future both near and far and budget our time and energy for success and to meet our worthwhile goals. But the present is a great present. It is to be enjoyed, now. Stop and smell the roses. At least notice they are there. And when we are truly present to the present, it is more likely we give proper attention to where and with whom we are at the moment.
So again I ask the question. Can you imagine Jesus in a rush?