Pslam 46:10 urges us to be still. “Be still and know…”
I cannot be the only one who struggles with this, right? I recently started attending a Yin Yoga class on Tuesday evenings. Yin Yoga is a practice that involves holding poses in semi-stillness for extended periods of time to deepen stretches. I went because I was having a lot of tension in my regular yoga and struggling with some postures we would do. It seemed like a good class to help with some of this. The first class knocked me out. We held poses for 3 to 5 minutes, and these were not difficult poses. I struggled with the stillness. The stillness of my body and my mind.
My mind is constantly going, and my body usually follows. I can usually be found doing something; I’m rarely still. Fiddling with a pen, tapping my toes, messing with my phone’s popsocket, etc. My coworkers and family will vouch for this. I struggle mightily with stillness. Even when I am actively still, my mind is churning and working on things.
So every once in a while, Psalm 46:10 comes up and knocks me down a bit. It is so hard to be still in this world that praises and encourages anything other than stillness. Think about it. From a young age, we are encouraged to keep going going going. Ballet, gymnastics, baseball, football, choir, school, family obligations. Even our “days off” are usually full of responding to work emails, running errands, and going one place to another.
We get so caught up in the race that we forget that we are told to be still. Why, though? Stillness feels so counterproductive. Nothing is happening when I’m still. I’m not getting any laundry done. The dishes are piling up while I’m still. So what’s the point of stillness? Why are we to be still and know?
Maybe because in the stillness we can more easily remember whose we are. We can more easily distinguish the small voice of God calling to us. Only when we quiet our own noises, the noises of our busy-ness can we remember our calling to God’s family. When I’m still, I can hear the groaning of my spirit and know what areas of my life need tending to. I can feel the areas I’m overgrowing that need pruned back. I can release the tension that builds up. I can drop the baggage and be truly known.
But it is so hard. It’s difficult to be still. That’s why I try to take time at least just once a week to be still. Because it helps me know myself better and know God better. And that’s what we’re commanded to do. I hope you can find space in your life for a few moments of stillness in the week ahead, and I urge you to, as you’re able, do it as a family. There’s so much good that can come out of intentional stillness. Set a timer and commit to being still for five minutes one day as a family. See what happens. Be still and know that God is here with us.