After I published yesterday's piece about "When Being Still Is Hard," it got a lot harder.
I set out on an easy three-mile run. (I've learned over the years that the weekly or bi-weekly short run is all my body can take.) Just as I'm coasting into that two-mile autopilot, no-effort mode, it happened.
Uneven sidewalk. Lunging dog. Tight hamstring. Tear. Treacherous tumble.
Twenty minutes of praise-filled prayer, of lead-me-Lord listening, torn out from under me. Flat on my fanny, I pulled out my phone to call for a ride. The spiraling dots were dialing down to a dead battery.
Talk about feeling disconnected. Nevermind the fact that this week I have no access to either of my work emails from two different organizations for mysterious, Poltergeisty reasons. Nevermind that the two aged laptops we own are wheezing and freezing, and the wifi needs unplugging and replugging on a daily basis. Disconnected. Minding the gaps — physical, technological, social — minding them very much, indeed.
The mile walk home was a downward spiral from "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" to a bitter pity party. My spiritual battery was dying, too. I was mad at God for the recent sequence of events on top of years of problematic patterns. All the wounded disconnections stormed up into a cold silence by the time I walked the last blocks home. "I can do all things" subsided to a whimpering "why even try?"
That whole mile I wanted to by physically still, but I needed to get home. That whole afternoon I wanted to deliver a spiritual silent treatment to God, not enjoy any spiritual stillness. But God kept pointing me to his home of love and grace.
|Geri Madera Photography|
Confession: I don't normally pray with that kind of passion and trust.
I don't know how to do it without feeling skeptical or just plain weird. But I do know it happened yesterday, by the grace of God. Literally. In the moment where I surrendered my worries, accepted my current state, and whispered (without moving a muscle) for help, God entered my prayers and filled them with all the faith I didn't have. It was a stillness that was situationally forced and spiritually freeing. All I had to do was let go. That, and fall in a clumsy, crazy, contorted way.
Just when I think I've figured out what he wants me to do, to say, to share, God brings me back to doing things in his time and in his way. Being still is not for me to think my way through, to figure out on my own. It's not just, as I wrote yesterday, me inviting God into my moment of slow. Being still is God's invitation for me to come to a full stop — to trust and to surrender, so he can fill and overflow. Because what God brings to the stillness is so much more powerful than anything I can ever offer.
|Philippians 2:13 from VersifyLife.com|
My ideas for what is possible in my relationship with you are so humanly limited.
I pray that you blow wide open the realm of possibility for our time together. Where I seek space, I ask you to create your own peaceful dwelling place. Where I seek silence, I ask you to fill it with your living word. Where I seek sanctuary in the midst of busy, I ask you to make my business all about being a living, breathing, walking, talking sanctuary that glorifies you.
And where I try to keep hold of the reins, I implore you to take them from my controlling clutches, take them under your divine direction, and teach me to surrender to your serenity.