Friday, October 1, 2010

Be Still

A few months ago, my husband and I took our daughter to see The Karate Kid. You know, the new one, with Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith. We felt that for her to truly appreciate the film, she needed to see the original version, with Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita. (My husband also felt that she should endure the two sequels, which I thought was a bit harsh since neither of them was a particularly fantastic piece of cinematic work but I digress.)

Anyway, after nearly rolling on the floor laughing at the placement of the waistband of Daniel San's jeans in the 1984 version (were guy's waists really 6 inches higher then than they are now????) and practically having a nervous breakdown when I told her that Ralph Macchio was the Robert Pattinson of my day, her father deemed her ready to watch the new movie.

Off we went. Tickets and popcorn purchased. Diet Cokes the size of tubas in hand. Enough candy to feed a small country and turn all citizens into diabetics included. Into the theater we went.

Although the plot was fairly good, I just have to say I thought the original was better. (As it seems to be in most cases of remakes) But this post is not a movie review. Aren't you glad?

Partway through the movie, Mr. Han (Jackie Chan's version of Mr. Miyagi) tells Dre (the smaller and dreadlocked version of Daniel) that "being still and doing nothing are two very different things".


That has resonated within for months.

Be still, and know that I am God" (Psalm 46:10)

How often are we still? I think that especially as a woman, I equate sitting still and doing nothing with laziness. I often find myself multi-tasking to the extreme, loosing track of what I am intending to do by doing too many things at once. I do not understand how my husband and daughter can sit and watch TV for hours, while doing nothing. Just sitting. Staring. I simply can't do it. If I watch TV, it is generally something I have DVRed (is that a word?) so that I can fast forward commercials. I am usually also folding laundry, texting, and making lists of what else I need to do at the same time I watch the program. When I cook, I am also cleaning up the kitchen, loading and/or unloading the dishwasher, helping with homework and setting the table in between stirring pots or flipping meat. When I am online, I typically have three tabs open to do several things at once. Paying bills, balancing checkbooks, checking email, reading blogs, and Facebooking can all be done simultaneously at the click of a mouse. If I am on the phone, I am typically sorting papers or folding laundry or bagging up trash to take out at the same time. You get the picture.

So then what happens when it is time to read the Word or pray? It used to be a struggle. I would get so distracted. Prayer seemed a chore, and reading the Word was uninteresting and hard to understand. I could not understand how my women friends could sit and read the Word or pray for long periods of time. And to just sit and listen to God? To be still before Him? Yeah right. An alien concept to me.

So I prayed about it. While driving. With my cell phone in my cup holder in case it rang and my radio turned down and my eyes on the road. I asked God to make His Word alive to me. To show me how to pray with vigor and enthusiasm. To show me how to listen to Him. And He answered........"Be still."

That was it. Real revelation to me. I had to slow down, and realize that the God who made the Universe and saved me from Hell deserved my undivided attention. He is worthy of so much more that just of me stopping every other activity and coming into His presence with a clear and attentive mind. I wish I could tell you that as soon as I made the decision to approach Him like this it was an instant success, but that would be untrue. Although I tried, my mind drifted, I got sleepy or distracted as I read, and I got frustrated. I pressed on. I kept trying. And it got easier.

Now, although I do not do it as often as I would like or as often as I NEED to, I pray and read the Word much more often. I find myself praying outloud as I drive, with the radio off and the cell phone muted. I pray when I shower. I read the Word and Christian books daily. But every day, I make sure that I get still and quiet and I get still before my Father............

...........and I KNOW He is God.


Anonymous said...

DON'T EVER DOUBT YOURSELF!! God had you ask me to read it because I needed to read it. Thank you for being obedient. Seriously as the tears are just welling up and over, thank you.

Debbie said...

This is so beautifully worded and so very true. We are never "still" and need to listen more to God and talk more to God. As I have said before, you need to be a writer, you are so talented and I love you with all my heart. But, you know it is unfair that you got all of the creativity in this family. You could have shared a little with your only sister.