If you are anything like me, you are on the go every day. From work to church to picking up kids to making dinner to outings with friends, the list continues to spiral on and on. If you are also like me, you thrive on this bustling movement. You make to-do lists a mile long and feel satisfied anytime you check off an item. You fill your calendar with plans, written and organized with different color pens.
But what happens when God calls you to slow down? Does it feel like you're in a season that is static? Like you are waiting for something big or exciting to emerge from the mundaneness of life?
Some of you might crave that slower pace after months of crazy. But for me, after a while I start to feel a little restless. I feel I need to take advantage of every waking moment of my day to be productive, or else I feel guilty. I need to be doing something at all times.
So, imagine how I felt when, a couple months ago, I decided to cut my hours at work to focus on my college classes. I found myself at home most nights by myself while a lot of my friends were at out-of-state colleges enjoying their heightened social life. After schoolwork was completed, I would sit at my desk wondering what I should do next. My calendar looked bare, with the only scheduled markings being lecture times and upcoming exams - how uneventful!
My mom questioned why I had a hard time being still. Hearing her say the word “still” triggered Psalm 46:10 to come to my mind. It says, "Be still and know that I am God.” Be still. When researching what this means, certain phrases jumped out at me:
stop striving, stop searching, let go, surrender, be at peace
These words can be countercultural in our society. We want to be the ones in control of a situation. In the hecticness of life, we don't want to take a second and be still. Surrender has the negative connotation of giving up. To stop striving sounds like to stop trying.
When I think of searching and striving, I picture myself coming home from a long day at work, continuously flipping through radio stations the whole drive, trying to find a song to cheer me up or fit the mood, yet never finding it. God doesn’t want us striving and searching for things in this world to fulfill us because He knows it is all temporal and that only He can fully fill the void we feel - not relationships, a busy schedule, material possessions, validation from others; the list goes on.
We all have something we gravitate to - outside of God - to try and fulfill us. These things may not necessarily be bad, but when we try to let them take the place of God, we should expect to be disappointed. They’re only short-term fixes for a human heart condition that only God can fix. Besides being inherently sinful and in need of a savior (since Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden), the human heart has had a void. Some people call it a “hole.” A God-shaped hole only God can fit.
When the bustling of life and distractions were stripped away, I became more aware of this void in my life that I tried to fill outside of God. The Lord had to really force me to be still and know that He is God. He is where my future, my purpose, and my fulfillment come from.
If you are going through a dry, static season, use it to lean more into God - to know that He is God.
Isaiah 40:31 says, "But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.” If you are in a waiting season, wait upon the Lord. Keep praying to Him. He will renew your strength when you feel life is dreary and dull. He will be your fulfillment. Wait upon the Lord, and He will renew your strength! (Oh, how I love this verse!)
On the flipside, if your life is insanely busy right now and you can barely catch your breath, it’s also important to have times of rest, especially with the holidays coming up. Or if you’re in a period where God is doing big things in your life, take some time to slow down and really process how God is working in a miraculous way. Journal about it to look back on.
Above all, keep your eyes on God and surrender to Him. Stop striving and searching. Be at peace.
The Connection leadership recommends reading "Kill the Busy, Save the Bee: What It Really Means to Be Still and Know" by Yvonne Marie, M.Ed.
Lauren Weber is a college student and one of our youngest writers for The Connection. She is currently pursuing a nursing degree but has always had a love for writing. She loves using her gift of writing to serve God and to write words of truth and encouragement. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, reading, and spending time with her four-legged canines, Ripley and Naomi.