When I was a child, and I would go to church the old ladies used to say “Peace Be Still”. I never paid it any attention, just assuming it was one of those things old church ladies said. For most of us our childhoods in church there is a disconnect. For those of us who are blessed enough to have been raised in homes with loving, supportive parents that disconnect is that we are not already covered. By covered our parents kept a roof over our head, bills paid, clothes on our back, and food in our mouth. Our concerns as children were not typically a search for covering because mommy and daddy had that under control.
As we grow chronologically, and spiritually and as the time of maturity comes when we can no longer ask or expect for our entire covering to come from our parents some things we heard but did not register need to sink in. Some things we didn’t have the life experience to understand now require our attention.
As we make the transition from solely dependent on our family to a different relationship with them, as we transition to school, jobs, and families of our own we do not outgrow a need to be covered, to be cared for and to know when to be still. As children our parents told us when to come inside, when to turn the TV off, when to take a nap, and when to plan be still. As our lives take on new dimensions and we do not have that parent to tell us to be still, we forget how to. Work, Life, Stress and being “plugged in” make us lose our already weakened ability to be still.
We work ourselves into anxiety to succeed at our careers, relationships, our social lives, our social lives, our clothes, and our images. Our every movement has a motive, we have planned every outcome of our lives, every goalpost, and the things that fall outside of our plan weather big or small set our teeth on edge and our faith in a tailspin.
With nobody to tell us to be still we lose the ability, we forget the need to recharge, redirect, and reposition and rest ourselves, myself included. We spend countless hours looking at the screens in our lives, the computer screen, the smartphone screen where we access our agenda and play judge, jury and executioner of if our life is measuring up to what we think it should. The more our anxiety, and our debt rise the faster our movement. We aim our dwindling resources, financial, spiritual, and physical at a target before we take an opportunity to consult a parent, a caregiver, someone who has our best interest at heart, someone with the experience in these matters who can tell us when to be still.
This is usually the phase in life when you go back to church and the subject of peace comes up and you finally get it. There is finally a clarity of what and WHO peace is. You are finally ready to at least try it because nothing you have been trying has worked. Nobody who is calling your phone is able to ease to anxiety, nothing you try to pull together on your own is hitting the mark you intend for it. Your job, your debt, your worry, or even your spouse is not able to minister to you in full sprint.
I should know because I have lived in full sprint, in full run, in an increasing tailspin, knowing what I want and not how to get it. I just kept trying more and more “stuff” to get to where I wanted to be, I tried everything except being still. I tried everything except not moving. I didn’t want to lose my momentum, I didn’t want to lag further behind, I didn’t want to risk not being in the right place at the right time. I didn’t want to accept that my season may not be what I envisioned it to be. I didn’t want to be any further behind my facebook friends with new jobs, new husbands and new babies.
As a full grown adult it was no longer my parents problem or responsibility to tell me when to be still. My mother had already raised me. But thankfully I have a Father God who knows how and where to show up to get a message to me that enough is enough. I have run around the yard doing my own thing for enough time. It was time to sit it down. It was time to have peace. It didn’t matter what I wanted, because everything I needed was going to get to me. God didn’t forget where to send his blessings, he didn’t forget my new address. Likewise everything that needs to be taken away was going to be gone no matter how tightly I held. It was indeed okay not to answer the phone, not to check that one more email, It was okay to close the computer, when I just couldn’t get my mind aligned to write. God wanted me to be still, to relearn peace and remember where to go and get it.
I wish I could say all this came to me, because I am just that good, just that deep, or just that faithful but instead that word was put on a Pastors heart to give me and for me to in turn give away for someone else. All I had to do was not move, just stand there and listen and BE in that lesson.
I finally get “Peace be still” I finally get “when you’ve done all you can do just stand” I finally get that I didn’t outgrow a loving parent telling me when enough is enough. I get where I need to go to get what I need. I know that I can ask for peace in any situation. I know I can ask Peace to be still.