Be Still and Know

missionDo you ever just sit for a few minutes outside in the quiet? I find myself today being drawn to my back porch; listening to the Purple Martins talking to each other. Sitting outside with the sun on my face, I can finally breathe. I mean really breathe…that slow, inhale-exhale without distractions or pressure or technology pushing me to the next task..just taking, finally, a deep breath. I often find myself working towards something and feel a little overwhelmed from information overload and then sense a longing to find time to just be be still and process life. The problem I think with this gut response of mine is that it contradicts my need to either check things off my to do list or to feel the internal pressure of reading/listening/watching one more article/podcast/YouTube video on the topic of my search. And yet, by pushing on, I find myself unable to really process or retain any more information I have mentally hit my max and cannot shove anymore thought provoking data into my brain. If I’d just listen to my gut sooner rather than later, I’d be more effective. I’d make more progress and be able to quickly categorize which items to spend my time with and which to save for another day.

It’s funny, the gut…it’s so smart and yet, I struggle to listen to it more. It tells me, “No, do not eat another bite of that dessert, because in a few short minutes, your stomach will hurt,” and yet, more often than not, I ignore the reminder and complain about my stomach hurting as I’m shoveling in another bite of chocolate cake. The gut, it knows how you operate and what you need to do, if only we’d listen to it more. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been reading a lot about the importance of writing a personal mission statement. I understand why it’s important; I know it’s something that would benefit me to do, and yet…weeks later, I keep telling myself, “I need to stop and take some time to think through it and write be be quiet and listen to my gut, listen to my heart, listen…to God.”

I think, as with so many things in life, while writing my mission statement is good for me, like eating more vegetables and drinking more water, it isn’t easy. It isn’t chocolate cake. It would help me clarify which things I needed to spend my time and energy on and which things I could put on a list for another day. It would help me clarify how I should be spending my time and how I shouldn’t be. It would help me see in black and white exactly where I want to go without the daily guesswork and stress. Writing a personal mission statement would bring the much-needed clarity to my murky mid-life transition.

I have 2 little ones, if I haven’t mentioned it to you before, that have been blessed with the opportunity to attend a local, Christian private school. My youngest, not quite 3, loves to sing a song from her chapel class a song based on the verse, Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I be still and knowam God…” I love to listen to her sweet, little voice recite these words over and over again and yet, here I am, as her momma, not setting a very good example of doing just that. As my husband and parents would likely attest, my stubborn nature slows my pace, but I AM learning this lesson. There’s so much great and valuable information as we seek to hear God’s voice and direction for our life that in our hurry to uncover and learn and move towards living in the fulfillment of that life, sometimes what God is REALLY asking of us, is to do what my blonde, curly-headed daughter already grasps and sings about-to “be still and know that {He is} God.”  I mean, how can we…how can I really hear God’s voice, His direction, His will, if I’m never still? How can I apply what I’m reading or work through the steps I’m learning if I don’t take the time to be quiet and listen so that I can hear from my gut…from God, what my mission statement SHOULD read? So, my encouragement for you today, is that as you work through your rooted leadership path, to take it slow. And build in the time to be still so that you, too, can hear and KNOW that He IS God and listen to His voice in the direction you should walk.

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