I recently got to go on our church’s women’s retreat. It was a great time of fellowship and prayer and great food and laughter. The planners also gave us a lot of time alone which was fantastic as an introvert. The first morning I took a walk alone through the fields surrounding the retreat center (it was on an old plantation). The phrase that kept coming to me was: “Be still and know that I am God.”
I thought about that phrasing and what it means. The obvious was that it was great to get away alone and have the time to just walk and think and read and reflect. A weekend free from distractions is a rare and beautiful gift and it was truly a time to “Be still” and think on other blessings in my life.
I also thought about what it means to be still in my everyday life. Again the obvious answer would be that it would do me good to reserve some space in my days to be quiet and just spend time with God. However, as I mused on the words I felt that there was a deeper meaning.
I tend to be more than a little bit of a control freak. If you know anything about Myers Briggs tests I am a “J” to about as much as you can be a J. That means I like schedules and checklists and plans. I do not like being late. I do not do well with unexpected interruptions. Some of that is good. I tend to get a fair amount done and I’m good at organization and administration. But this also means I spend a lot of time worrying about what is going to happen if we are off schedule or worrying about things I can’t control (like the weather or sickness or someone else’s behavior).
I don’t want to change who I am. But I do want to be more open to what God brings in a given day. I want to be able to respond with compassion with needed instead of impatience. I want to rest in knowing that I don’t have to be in control of everything. (And that if I was really in control it would be a really bad thing. Really.) I want to Be Still.