The effort to be still

I read the box of my herbal tea today while I wait for it to brew.

I pause and reflect at this truth.

To be still sometimes requires great effort.

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Even in prayer.  I labor to be still.  To be quiet.

There is noise.

At this moment.

My little guy is shouting singing Homeschool Blues by Tim Hawkins.

Are we ever in a noiseless place.  Not just sound.  But our minds.  Are we still with our minds at rest.  Ready to receive.

It’s in this quiet place we can hear.  We can re-evaluate.  A shifting of gears.

Spiritual reflection.

Simplicity.

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Peace.

Be still.

Mired in a culture that rewards hard work and busyness, it’s not surprising that tens of millions of self-identified Christians have confused religious activity with spiritual significance and depth. For instance, four out of ten self-identified Christian adults (39%) have participated in a combination of three “normal” religious activities in the past week (i.e., attending church services, praying, reading the Bible). But far fewer have engaged in another trio of deeper faith expressions: less than one out of ten have talked about their faith with a non-Christian, fasted for religious purposes, and had an extended time of spiritual reflection during the past week. Various spiritual disciplines – including solitude, sacrifice, acts of service, silence, and scriptural meditation – are also infrequently practiced.

…people often fail to realize that the end game of spiritual development is godly character, not worldly accomplishments. God does not need His followers to achieve things on His behalf in order for them to become more acceptable or valuable to Him. The research also indicated that sometimes people get so wrapped up in finishing church programs or producing specific religious results that they lose sight of the purpose of their faith, which is to have a life-changing relationship with Jesus. Barna noted that it becomes easy to substitute laudable religious activity for intentional and simple engagement with God. American Christians, in particular, have become known for doing good works and religious exercises rather than simply being friends and imitators of Christ.

The Barna Group – Self-Described Christians Dominate America but Wrestle with Four Aspects of Spiritual Depth

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Make the effort.

Be still.

 

About Cristal

Living life fully as the wife of one, a mother of two and follower of The One.
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16 Responses to The effort to be still

  1. kthroyal says:

    the following quote really resonated with me

    …people often fail to realize that the end game of spiritual development is godly character, not worldly accomplishments.

    Also, I too find it so difficult be still in my mind when I am trying to pray and be intimate with God. It is a true battle! I’m interested in how others battle through this.

    • Cristal says:

      Being still in prayer is very difficult for me. I even feel guilty (this is awful, I know) for sitting quietly before the Lord. I think of the other things I could be doing (spiritual things like praying for others, reading the bible, etc). In our society of go-go-go, this is certainly going against the tide…sitting still. Quietness. Trying not to insist on having control…even of a prayer meeting with God. Ouch.

  2. I struggle to be still, yet that is when I am most capable of hearing God.

    Thanks for the reminder.

    Carrie 🙂

    • Cristal says:

      I agree, Carrie. Yet, I neglect this discipline. A privileged opportunity to sit quietly at the feet of Christ and hear directly from Him. I must remember I’m unable to hear His voice when my own is making constant noise.

      Cristal

  3. pbus1 says:

    This post brought to mind another post that I read earlier this week. Thought I would share it here. God bless you, and thanks for the encouragement!

    http://tonirand.wordpress.com/2012/01/09/do-you-lead-a-quiet-life/

    Paulette

  4. dschondog says:

    A place that helps me focus and be still is http://www.sacredspace.ie. It is a 10-minute guided place of meditation and prayer. It is a site maintained by Jesuit priests in Ireland. I comment on this as one tool that some may find helpful to begin their day or take their break at work or finish their prayers before bed. Bless you, Cristal!

    Dawn

    • Cristal says:

      Wow, Dawn. You always seem to have interesting resources. Thank you for sharing. And, I am still praying for you. May you find yourself “still” before the Lord as you travel through your recent loss.

      Sincerely
      Cristal

  5. Celebrating Eve says:

    Cristal this is an excellent post. I believe strongly that busyness is indeed the spirit of this age. The way in which the enemy drives a wedge between us and God. We wear busyness as a badge of honor. A way to convince people that we have worth in this life. Even in the church. Busy, busy, busy. Yet it really is a seductive tool to keep us from slowing down and BEING with God and thus knowing truly how much worth we really have. Even Jesus needed to get away into solitude and silence to BE with the Father. Why do we think we can exist without that? Thank you so much for sharing this and for being willing to be counter cultural. God bless you today.
    K

    • Cristal says:

      You’re right Kerry-Ann. In fact, I make sure to tell my husband, at the end of each day, just how “busy” I was (as if to endorse myself or maybe earn that badge of honor). I’m even ashamed when I am not busy. So, I agree with you that busyness is the spirit of this age. And I’ve bought into it, unfortunately.

  6. We do need to learn to be still more often, don’t we? In this busy life, with the stress and complexities. We need to be still – it’s the key to peace which so many of us crave, I believe. Lovely post and lovely images, Cristal. 🙂

    • Cristal says:

      Thank you, Liz. And I agree to this stillness producing the peace we are all hungering after. A quietness before the Creator. I could go on and on about the pictures I just saw on your blog. The picture of the duck on the silver water and your beautiful full moon are perfect images to prompt my mind to get still before the Lord and behold His majesty. Thank you!

      Cristal

  7. pbus1 says:

    Hi Cristal,

    There is always a feast for the soul going on, over here at, “Refusing to Tiptoe.” I am richly fed, each time I visit. Therefore, I am nominating you for the Kreativ Blogger Award! Congratulations! If you want to learn more about this award, please visit the link below. God bless!

    Paulette

    http://pbus1.wordpress.com/2012/01/16/the-kreativ-blogger-award/

  8. as a teenager, I wanted to be noticed… now, I love to watch and not be noticed, to jump in and be helpful with only the Lord knowing… Growing old has become a blessing and it is this ‘Be still and know that I am God’ that has redirected my focus, from me … to Him. It happens in the quiet moments, the walk alone moments, the closet moments, the alone on the hillside or seashore moments… Him and me alone… being still!
    ~In repentance and rest is our salvation, in quietness and trust is our strength”.
    ~Isaiah 30:15

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