Also, I was all prepared to purposefully focus away from the more traditional takes on "still"--namely, tell an old family story about a woman and an illegal still out back--but after a lovely, relaxing evening of community and family and worship tonight, I can't get away from this:
It's the verse that hits everyone, the one we all know the first third of: "Be still and know that I am God." We use it in the name of slowing ourselves down, of excusing ourselves from responsibility, but tonight I found myself wondering if we overcomplicate even this.
Is the reason we are called to be still simply the fact that He is still? He is unmoving, unchanging, entirely reliable and entirely faithful. "There is no shadow in him," breathes another psalmist. When I am racing from one well-intentioned distraction to another, I'm going a hundred different ways, while He waits for me to remember--or exhaust myself.
Because He is still, and waiting. He has not changed, in spite of every other ground being shaky, every other view shrouded in fog. He is still, and He does not invite me to run to Him--not yet. The first step is just stillness.
Tonight, coming back from my family's house, a halved moon hung impossibly monstrous just on the rim of the hill. All a trick of the eye, I've been told, but my eyes cried truth that it was that big, that there. Wonder like that demands stillness, demands the catching of breath and the backburnering of every other thing.
Be still, He says, and I try. I push the brakes on my racing mind, my beating heart. I remember that the One who is speaking is more impressive even than this beloved moon of mine, and far more dependable.
Stillness is hard, it is work, but it is the only way to peace.
"'Be still, be calm, see, and understand I am the True God.
I am honored among all the nations.
I am honored all over the earth.'"
Psalm 46:10, The Voice translation