College- clean laundry, not pressed or creased, just folded. There was a season in college when having clean laundry in a timely fashion was the priority. I wasn't bothered much about doing anything beyond folding and putting them away. Taking the additional time to press, crease, or steam just wasn't in the cards. They were clean, comfortable, and occasionally stylish. The best part about this for me is the freedom to do something different, something opposite of had been raised to do. The freedom to not sweat the details. After all, I was naturally cute and well put together, and fashion was not the reason I attended college.
Fighting my mind to find peace: Often times I find myself getting caught up in the hairy details of life, missing out on the most important stuff, and then later experiences guilt and sadness for not having realized it in the moment. This makes me a bit scattered and annoyed. At a certain point I have to throw my hands up, close my eyes to, breathe and remind myself that it will be okay.
Questioning my value, identity, and position: For years, if I was unable to complete a task with excellence or had to walk away from a project unexpectedly leaving it incomplete, I would grade my self according to what "my perceived definition of success was". I would criticize myself, internally questioning why I even thought that I could achieve the goal. Who gave me the audacity to think that I was worthy or capable of doing such monumental things?
Be still long enough for God to reveal His agenda: I have always been a self-starter that moves at a lightning pace. Never satisfied with the status quo, always chasing after the next big challenge, "I don't have time to smell no roses, I'll just pick them up at the florist". Sometimes the detours and setbacks we experience in life, is God trying to redirect, slow down, or cause your attention to be focused on something "bigger". Typically already there, in plain sight, obvious to everyone else except for you. Is the place where he wants you and I to be still.....and know (fully trusting and aware) that He is God. I know for a fact I have rarely give myself "think time". The other day I got up early to pray and spend some dedicated time with God, and somewhere in the midst of my prayer I I had a thought, got up to deal with it, and realized that I had left the prayer in mid-sentence, no "Amen", no quiet time to hear what God had to say about my day. When I realized what I had done, I immediately went back to my knees, asked for forgiveness, disregarded my normal morning routine and the rush, and literally consecrated the rest of the day to the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit. I had to practice being in His presence and submitting to his desires for my life. I learned the hard lesson that my agenda, my assignments, are not my own, but they are the playing out of what God has purposed me to do, who to speak to, and where I should go.
Boldness and authority to press forward: Practicing being in God's presence, hearing His voice, and allowing Him to lead my life's plan, is something that is much easier said than done. Our society practices multi-tasking, thinking about a thousand things in a moment, in the attempts of getting them all done, at the same time. They call it efficiency. The truth is that it is counterproductive as you find that you are not 100% present during any event, at any juncture. God is calling us to focus our attention on Him, one thing at a time and this practice is a painful process, as we must unlearn bad habits. But, if you commit to practicing something long enough, in time it becomes a habit- and new habit that brings peace, comfort, focus, and a confident boldness to pursue all that God has placed before you on any day. You can move forward conquering purpose-filled tasks that are meaningful and have lasting impact.
What concerning area do you need to practice "Being still" before God? Are you willing to cancel your agenda for what God's plans are for you? (comment below)