“Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations.I will be exalted in the Earth.” – Psalms 46:10
Growing up I had ADD. You read that correctly had- past tense. How I got off my ADD medicine is a story in it’s self. And a whole lot of arguing and stubborn pride. It’s hard to stay silent and be still. Yet, it’s one of the most rewarding skills I have ever learned. We live in a society of the faster the better. We have fast cars, fast food, rewind buttons, email, instant messaging, and the list goes on. When did we become so in tuned to ourselves and what is best for- me, myself, and I that we lost what we stand for and the art of a community?
In my bible next to the verse I mentioned up above I wrote- “Stop!” and “Enough” Put down your phone, unplug, and enjoy the stillness. I don’t know about you but I swear my mind is always full sprint- take no prisoner captive attitude. Yet we aren’t called that way. What I love about winter is that it’s perfect picture of this- calmness, still, and just a slower pace.
The question is- “how can I unplug and disengage?” Here are my 8 ways I shut down and be present and be still.
- Schedule: I know I know that almost sounds a little rehearsed. But I’m a firm believer in habits and creating a habit. If you don’t schedule time aside you will subconsciously “schedule” something into that time slot. I also find- if I write it down in my planner- be still. I will spend that time being still. If that means- going on a drive or laying in my bed.
- Prepare Your Heart: I know it’s hard to switch gears- going from going, going, going to a complete stand still is hard. In this preparation time spend time in worship and journal. Journal what’s on your mind. What is your fears? What’s going through your mind?
- Undisturbed: If this means shutting off your phone and laptop do it! We all need that undisturbed time to sit, pray, reflect, and soak in the quietness. And refuel so that we can do what we need to do. It’s important to hit the gym or study for that big test. But it’s even more important to take care of your mental and spiritual life.
- Listen: In my experience God doesn’t have a huge megaphone yelling with a huge spotlight on Him with grand theatrical movements. If that was the case it would be easy to spot him and hear what he has to say. He whispers- if we aren’t in the right attitude or place to hear Him can we?
- Draw Closer: When your best friend is telling you a secret what do you do? You get closer to her don’t ya? You get closer to hear clearly what she has to say. I don’t know about you. But in those moments between God and myself I want to be closer than ever. I want to know more, I want to know what the bible says I want to hear all what God says. I don’t want to interrupt what God is telling me.
- Do Not Be Afraid: When I was a kid- I use to hate being in complete stillness or quietness. I always thought something bigger and worst is going to happen. In those minutes my overactive imagination got the worst of me. Enter into this moment with a clear mind and expect great things.
- Meditate: Mediating is a great way to begin closing off distractions and allowing God into the moment. There are some amazing guiding meditations that will help shut off the never ending to do lists in your mind. And help you be present.
- Give it to God- And Go To Sleep: When you are starting to feel anxious or panicked your palms are sweating, you are hyperventilating, and you are angry. Talk to God- give it to Him; give Him your fears, anxiety, the violent storm in your head. Talk to Him like you would talk to your best friend.
God is oh so good! To be honest God shows up to me in picture form. My favorite hobby is actually photography. God shows up to me while I have a camera in my hand. A couple days ago I had an itching to get behind the camera again. To go and explore and just get lost behind the camera for a while. While I’m out usually I have my headphones in and just shut the world out for a minute.
I’m a visual learner. I think this is how God communicates with me- And I can’t wait to share them with you!
Be Still: Photography Exhibit