Have you ants in your pants? This is a question I was often asked when I was a little girl. No it’s not literally, but the question is merely in relation the my life long struggle to be still.
A trait that very much followed me into adulthood. I am very busy active person. I am sure anyone who knows me, or knows my lifestyle would agree.
It’s a rare thing to find me lazing about the house. I don’t watch tv. I haven’t even had a tv attached to an aerial for about five years now. I have to be intentional about having movie nights on the sofa with my kids as to spend a bit of chill time with them. A duvet day, staying in doors all day in-front of the tv is my idea of hell. Besides the fact I’d be ridiculously restless, an even bigger problem would be I can’t seem to watch tv without eating at the same time, so that would lead to all sorts of bother.
Please don’t misunderstand what I’m staying, if you can, and you love a life in the your pj’s in front of the telly, there is no judgement. In fact, I’m quite jealous of people who can easily switch to relaxation mode. I struggle to do so. Even after a not so busy day, when I go to bed it takes my brain a lot of convincing to switch off . Often not helped by late night scrolls on social media, the black hole, eh? One sure fire way to waste an hour..
Busy for me doesn’t always equal productive. I can be very busy and still not get a lot done in a day. In fact, I hold a gold medal in procrastination, just my procrastinating involves being busy with other stuff than the things I actually need to do and, with all this in mind, I still manage to convince myself some days that the reason I didn’t spend some intentional time with God is because I was too busy all day.
During the week I was listening to a random playlist on Spotify when a playlist of newly released music was suggested. I clicked on it, curious to hear Adele’s new song. I quickly flicked (it’s not for me , I definitely had Adele seasons, but thankful to not be in a season where I need Adele music to feed my weary soul), but after Adele came Diana Ross, Westlife, Steps, TEXAS, flipping love Texas. I looked down at the playlist description to make sure I had read the part about it being brand new music, it was!! Clearly, all the lockdown stillness had given these older artists the time and inspiration to write new music.
As I mused over this thought, I got a little Holy Spirit nudge to fully acknowledge the importance of stillness. Yes, yes, my heart murmured back at the sense of the need to acknowledge this. I know, I know, be still and know, and know that God created me as a busy, active, creative person and he loves me just as I am. SO! I’m doing just fine.
Now, IF the Holy Spirit had a face, I’m pretty sure an eyebrow would have been cocked at my attempt to justify my busyness. I can just picture the three of them.. (shack style) rolling around laughing at me. Did she really just try to convince her creator the reason she doesn’t give him enough attention was because he made her that way?! LOL!
““Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.””
Psalms 46:10 NLT
I did a little research on the whole be still thing and, well it’s a bit of a mind boggle. There is a lot to learn on this matter, to be honest because as quite often Hebrew has several different words that translate into one English phase.
Please go easy on me as I try my best to explain this in the best way I can. Every time we see the words BE Still in our English Bible, it’s not always the same Hebrew word translated.. ya get it??
I’m not even going to pretend to understand Hebrew, although I would love an understanding because I love the Bible, but I really wanted to share this because it’s way, way too cool to leave out of this blog.. Hebrew has lots of different words that translate into English, be still, and the meaning of these different words varies. Silent, unable to speak, quiet, rest, to be still, to leave alone. Then the mind is completely blown when I learn the Greek translation is CEASEFIRE, literally to stop what you are doing immediately. Down tools.
I’m far from a scholar, so I probably shouldn’t talk any more in an area that I’m pretty clueless (Greek & Hebrew), however, I am not clueless in the area of having a relationship with my Heavenly Father and what I do know is this, unless we are intentional in stopping what we are doing, unless we are willing to be silent and listen, and unless we are willing to be still and rest in his presence, it is impossible to keep a healthy relationship and strong bond with God.
Yes, God will be with you in all your busyness but, this I’m sure of after my trip down the rabbit hole of Greek and Hebrew translation, what God wants to impress in our hearts through his word is the importance of being still and spending time in silent stillness with him.
Easier said than done.. I know. As soon as I sit down with God I can think of a million things I should be doing instead. I will remember the name of that person I’d forgotten three days ago. Suddenly I need to pay a bill or text someone. Maybe some vital biblical research will come to mind, a Bible verse I need to read a commentary on. Surely that’s allowed because well, it’s a good thing, right?
Yes it is, but I’m not talking about time studying the Bible. Although an equally essential part of getting to know God, which is also a crucial part of relationship with God, but I’m talking about the being silent, being still, stopping all that your doing to be with God.
It’s hard but it’s worth it. It requires discipline. Just like meeting up to spend time with anyone else would be done by arrangement, you need to arrange a time with God. His flexibility is unreal, he can be there as early or late as you need. So set your alarm in the morning 10/ 20 minutes earl, which means going to bed 10/ 20 minutes earlier too.
No phones. It’s rude to sit on a coffee date with your chum and have your phone distracting you. So God is no different. Put your phone away, it will not kill you. I promise.
Switch off your mind… mmmm this is the hardest of all I think. I learnt this little trick a while back. Every time a distracting thought comes into your mind, say to it, go away I’m spending time with my Heavenly Father. Yup, it sounds a bit cringe! but it actually works.
Has anyone ever asked you to meet, but you don’t know why, and your question is so what did you want to talk about? Well, it’s ok to ask God that too. What do you want to talk to me about today? What would you like to tell me today? Perfectly normal, and God would be delighted to know you wanted to hear what he had to say.
Last one. Shut up and listen … shut up isn’t a very nice thing to say but sometimes it’s important. I have to try super hard sometimes not to fill silence with words or my sound. Silence makes me feel awkward. Fight the urge to fill the silence, but in these super duper special times, when you listen to God.. you need to zip it!
I know that I know, if you are even intentional about this, just even once in the next week, you will reap the benefits and you will want to do it more and more, and it becomes less of a discipline and more of a priority in your life! Have fun.
“You can be sure of this: The Lord set apart the godly for himself. The Lord will answer when I call to him.”
Psalms 4:3 NLT
Loves T x