Be Still… and Know!
It is mid-September and school is now in full-swing. Honestly, by Tuesday evening I’m already exhausted and so are my kids and it’s not surprising considering the schedule we keep. It’s brutal! Most days, I am up by 5 a.m. feeding pets, emptying the dishwasher, making breakfast and prepping for the day. Kids hit the floor at 6 a.m. and the mad dash begins. Someone forgot to do math corrections. Someone else needs a permission slip signed. Everyone needs breakfast, but someone doesn’t like what I made. Someone can’t find their soccer cleats. Someone else hates the way their hair looks. Everyone forgot to make their bed. By the time we leave at 7 a.m., the whole clan is edgy and the day has barely begun. Seven hours of school, three hours of sports, and two hours of homework later, we are all falling asleep on the couch… till we do it all over again.
And I don’t think I’m alone. We are just a busy people. Between the noise of emails and phone calls and text messages and Facebook posts and 24-hour news alerts and children playing ball or playing video games or playing the trumpet or playing with the windows in the car, I feel like I frequently need a shot of Nyquil and a nap. It’s actually hard to hear my own voice, let alone the voice of God. And here’s the problem: It’s mid-SEPTEMBER! We have yet to conquer the holidays, flu season, and standardized testing. The month of May seems like a vague and distant dream. I’m tired and we’ve only just begun.
Which is why I need this simple reminder. Psalm 46 says, “Be still and know that I am God” and in the original Hebrew language this verse is written as a double imperative. Basically, it is written like this: “Be still! Know!” In addition, the emphasis is on the second imperative, on the “know,” with the first imperative being a prerequisite. In other words, it is impossible to know until we are actually still. As a teacher, I can relate to this in the classroom. When the class is loud and wiggly, it becomes much more difficult to impart any kind of lasting knowledge. As it turns out, God knew how very much we would need to pause and actually breathe Him in.
I know it sounds crazy, and perhaps even impossible, but I wonder what tomorrow might look like if we all just took a moment, or maybe a few moments, to be still and know?