The Humility of Stillness and Rest
Have you ever had one of those busy seasons? You know the ones, where you seem to be the solution for every problem at work or at home, not enough hours in the day, overscheduled, depleted. I experienced one of these all-consuming seasons this fall with both my work and personal commitments. I was exhausted; staying up way later than a mother of two young kids reasonably should in order to get work done- up either for work or for keeping up with things around the house. Self care was definitely not happening. Rest was not happening. Quiet times were sporadic at best. Stress was high. I was trying to do it all! And sort of, maybe, sometimes, succeeding? At least I thought I was.
While I was doing my small group Bible Study homework in the midst of all my craziness, I was struck by an observation made by the author, Priscilla Shirer, “pride causes us to think we can do more than we can….”
Instantly I knew the Holy Spirit was speaking to my weary and busy heart. I was not respecting the boundaries of my own humanity, my own body, my own capability. I kept pushing myself to do more, and, if I am honest with myself, I was taking pride in being able to accomplish so much and to be seemingly more “valued” by my work as a result of my extra efforts. But the truth was that, as much as I wish I was as strong and amazing as Wonder Woman, I am not her. I cannot do it all. And to act as if I can, not respecting the God given need and call to rest, is pride. Moreso, to act as if I can accomplish all these things in my own power without consulting God, is prideful.
I am struck by the way Jesus often rested and by the great humility he displayed in spending time with God. Repeatedly throughout the gospels we are given accounts of Jesus stealing away by himself to pray and be alone with God as well as resting. Often his time seemingly could have been spent doing better things, like ministering to people.
Jesus, fully God and fully man, took time to rest and to pray. If anyone was a superhero and could do it all it was Jesus- he could have called 10,000 angels to set him free from the cross afterall! He did not put the bottom line, getting something off “the list,” achieving success, or being awesome above the need to rest and be with God. He humbled himself by stilling himself- both physically in resting as well as in prayer.
I would like to invite you to engage in an opportunity to rest and pray. On Wednesday, January 10 at 730 pm in the sanctuary we will have our third Be Still and Know Contemplative Prayer Night. It is an opportunity for you, perhaps like me, to intentionally rest from all the busyness and striving and succeeding in order to humbly ask God to give you true rest and to provide for you and speak to you. Even in the situations where you think you are Wonder Woman. I hope you will join us.