God is teaching me a lesson in patience right now. Ever been there? I don’t know about you, but I’m a “Fast Forward” kind of guy. I like things moving, I like action, I like change. I’m motivated by results and so I like to have a plan to get them. So if you’re like me, then you know that for people like us, when life seems to be on “pause” we get a little stir-crazy. We don’t like to sit still.
I walked into my office this morning and opened Spotify as I do every day. I hit “unpause” on the same playlist I was listening to last Friday before I left for the weekend. The song that immediate started playing was “Be Still and Know” by Steven Curtis Chapman. It’s based off of the Bible verse found in Psalm 46:10. The theme is that in the middle of all this war and chaos and turmoil, God is constant.
“Be still, and know that I am God.”
I’m not naturally a “be still” kind of guy. We’re not “be still” kind of people. Life is hectic and as much as most of us complain about that, in some way we kind of like it. It becomes our routine. We settle in and get comfortable. Maybe the chaos distracts us from things we’d rather not think about. Maybe we find some false sense of purpose in all the busyness and madness.
The problem is that when we live in fast forward, there are consequences or side effects to that lifestyle:
- We constantly feel tired.
- We’re always behind and can’t get caught up, and you can forget getting “ahead.”
- We neglect relationships with people we love because we’re busy (or tired).
- We ignore some parts of our life because we’re laser-focused on other parts, and the lack of balance eventually topples us over.
- We are stressed, we feel anxiety, and our long term physical health and emotional health suffer greatly.
We don’t like lessons in patience because always, 100% of the time, means God is stretching us. There are major growing pains that go along with that. Lessons in patience are annoying to busy people. “Ain’t nobody got time fo’ dat,” amiright?
But apparently God thought it important enough for us to be still that He said so. When I was a college freshman, at our orientation, Bill Griffin, the President of the university, had a devotion in which he made us say Mark 1:35 out loud with him, and I never fully understood why until recently.
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up,
left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”
Even Jesus took time to be still. To hit pause. To take a breath, slow his heartbeat, and just rest. To let God speak to Him.
If I had my way, I’d live in a Fast Forward world. It’s a good thing I don’t have that remote control that Adam Sandler had in the movie “Click.” But when I live in that world, I get wrapped up in less important things and miss opportunities God puts in my life to be happy and to experience joy with the people I love. Most importantly, when I’m set on Fast Forward, I’m so busy going full speed ahead taking steps on my own that I don’t give God time to lead me and show me which ones to take.
I can’t end this blog post by saying that I’m ok right now. I’m still not comfortable on “pause” yet. But God’s reminders to be still seem to always come at the right time, like in a Spotify playlist. Watch for those reminders today and take time to smell the roses.