Learning to be still

Learning to be still

I am having a lovely morning…

I woke up around 7:30, read a few chapters to finish the Book of Acts, read the weekend Wall Street Journal, and finally got up and made a pot of {mostly} decaf coffee. I had a leisurely breakfast of pancakes, eggs, and kale while finishing a crossword puzzle. Now I’m writing in my journal and watching college football. sigh


I’m SO grateful for this morning.

Yet… I feel slightly anxious that I should be doing something productive. Yes, it’s only 10:30 am on a Saturday, but I haven’t played tennis or swam, or packed for my trip, or left the house… so I’m somehow failing at making the most of my weekend.

I’m feeling slightly run down from traveling and then returning to work all week and I haven’t taken a rest day from exercise since last Sunday. Rationally, I know the best thing I can do for myself is do nothing today. Why is it so hard to enjoy it?

Sounds kinda crazy, right? That was my inner monologue this weekend and if you can believe it, that’s an improvement. I’m still not totally “there” in terms of being okay with doing nothing, but I bet some of you feel me (and the rest of you have stopped reading).

As a recovering workaholic, it’s hard to be still.

The thing is, I think most of us overachieving types know the difference between being lazy and being smart. That go-go-go pace of our lives only serves us until it doesn’t. Usually when it doesn’t, it really lays us flat - and that’s what happened to me yesterday.

I looked up and realized that I hadn’t stopped to be still and listen in a few weeks. In the past, I would look up after months and realize that I hadn’t slowed down in several months. Now, I consciously slow down every morning before starting my day so I tricked myself into thinking I was listening. However, everything I’ve been doing is very active. I have been talking to God, thanking Him, and asking for things. I have been reading my Bible and devotional and then diving straight into writing. I haven’t been pausing between activities to reflect and listen.

I’m not sure who you are listening to and it doesn’t matter to me. Whether it’s God, your intuition or something else, this applies to you. We are rarely just still. We are crafting responses while we listen. We drive with podcasts and audiobooks. We talk on the phone while taking a walk. All of these things are great, but there’s a time and a place for being still and listening with no agenda.

I want to encourage you to do that every single day this week. It’s Sunday and I love weekly challenges, so here’s yours: pick a time every day when you will spend 2 minutes to be still and listen.

Practically speaking, for me that means first asking God to help me hear what He wants and then quieting my mind and letting thoughts float through and then float away.

For you, it may look different and I would love to hear how you do it. There’s no right way, and there’s no expectation you’ll hear something profound. You will hear something and it will be exactly what you need.

The pace of your life doesn’t have to lay you flat on your back; but if it does, I hope you listen. (And I also hope it’s on a Saturday or Sunday during football season).

This is not me justifying my day of lethargy - although I do feel pretty validated now.

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A Really Raw Story about Radical Responsibility

A Really Raw Story about Radical Responsibility

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