While completing a continuing education training about spirituality and religion, I listened to an interview with a Psychologist who also practiced Zen. Throughout the interview, he referred to “sitting” and taking in the moment… experiencing every aspect of it. He talked about beginning by sitting in one position without moving for 30 minutes, focusing on what he felt physically, emotionally, etc, and just allowing it all to be; not trying to fix any of it. Though the man did not profess a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and the concepts are not traditionally “Christian,” I believe that God's truth may be revealed in many ways. Toward the end of the interview, I was struck by the thought that “sitting” may be, in a way, what God had in mind when He said, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
I can picture God telling us, “Sit still. Breathe. Be aware of what you are experiencing…. And know that I am God. Know that the pain is temporary. The struggles are temporary. The world you are in is temporary. Focus. Focus on Me, your creator. I know what is best for you and I Love you. I love you so much I sent my only son to die… for you. I love you THAT much… so know that when I allow you to experience what you are experiencing… it’s not to harm you. Good things can come from even this. Be still and know that I am your God… your Loving Father. Be still.”
We have such trouble just being still. I do, anyway. I’ve found that when I feel overly anxious (and this year has had its share of anxiety), I feel like I need to DO something but seem to have trouble being still long enough for God to show me what it is I need to do. Even while I wait for the next step to become clear, I believe there is value even in the anxiety and pain.
This year has been such a learning process. It’s been an emotional roller coaster. I have been fascinated with how it is possible to have peace coexist with all of the other emotions I have experienced. Even when I feel most anxious about where I think I need to be, there is still a sense of peace in knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that it’s going to be okay. God still has a plan. He’s still working on me with the being still part. I’m not sure how it is that I can trust completely that He has a plan… and yet doubt myself and where I am. There have been times that the anxiety has been significant… but even then, I fully believed that God had a plan, so I’m not entirely sure why I have still felt that anxiety. I’ve not stopped counting my blessings, I continue to find joy in my family and friends, yet I’ve still faced anxiety. I think it’s because I have trouble just being still and being where I am. It’s hard to relax and feel settled after all the tension. The rain has stopped (for the time being), but I’ve felt like I’ve been stuck in the mud. It’s easy for me to trust God (knowing what scripture tells me about His attributes), but I just get so anxious to move forward out of the mud sometimes. It’s easy to get so caught up in what WILL happen that I don’t focus on what IS happening.
Sometimes, I think that no matter how many ways we tell ourselves to wait… no matter how many times we count our blessings, we still have to get to a breaking point before the real work can be done. We are most pliable when we’re broken, and God has such an amazing plan. Even the mud is part of it. Thank you, God, for the mud.
Now… I’m off to research the benefits of mud bathing. J
1 Thessalonians 5:18
New International Version (NIV)
18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.