“I’m so busy.” “Life is just crazy lately.” “All I do is run from one place to another.” Busyness is something most American people have in common. The Andy Griffith culture of rocking on the porch enjoying a glass of tea is completely foreign to most of us.
It really is okay to unplug and be still. It may be strange at first but the world will keep revolving, cars will keep moving, and people will continue to thrive. Being still is something we were instructed to do as kids. We even tell our own children. “Be still!” We don’t even get a break from God as he tells us, “Be still and know that I am God…” (Psalm 46:10, NIV).
Being still is difficult in today’s culture. The world loves to tell us we are valuable as long as we are busy. However, in actuality, being busy keeps us from enjoying life. We miss out on the extraordinary that surrounds us.
With our faces in the computer screen, we barely hear our children tell us about their day at school. Rushing through traffic, we miss the beautiful sight of the hawk soaring overhead. Hurrying through our to-do list, we neglect to see the beauty in people and nature.
I just returned from spending four days in Colorado Springs with the senior leaders at Hearts at Home. It was an opportunity to unify the leadership as well as spend some intentional time with God. We turned off our phones and agreed to be intentional about being still.
We stayed in a beautiful home on 8 acres. Many paths marked the property and there were many surprises along the way. Rock formations, cacti growing on the property, beautiful birds not found in my state, a cabin built for writing solitude, and more. One fun surprise was a sign along one path that said, “Happy Trails.”
I had traversed the path with the “Happy Trails” sign several times but never stopped to look around. My concern was in reaching the top and seeing as much of the property as possible. However, on our last day, we each went in search of a place of solitude to spend time with God. As I walked along the “Happy Trails” path, I stopped at the sign.
As I turned around, I was met with a stunning view of Pikes Peak. I was awestruck. The sign had a purpose as it marked the spot with the best view on the entire property. I sank down on a rock and just marveled at God’s power and majesty.
I sat in wonder and remembered the verse, “Be still and know that I am God.” By constantly moving and thinking about my next step, I had missed out on the dramatic splendor behind me on the trail. By being still, I was able to experience the extraordinary sight and be enthralled by an extraordinary God.
My plan is to be more intentional in looking for signs to slow down and gaze into the extraordinary: my child’s voice; my husband’s touch; the squeak of a porch swing; a new flower emerging. When I see a sign, I promise to unplug and experience the extraordinary.
What will you do to unplug and experience the extraordinary?
@2012 Connie Johnson