Brave Enough to be Still

Brave enough…to be still?

Counter-intuitive. It ought not take any courage at all to do nothing.

…but oh, it does, doesn’t it?

Peace is a strange thing. We all crave it – long for it, seek it, in some way or another.  Sometimes we find it out in nature, where we’ve run to escape workplace stress, or a tough relationship, or the race of the corporate ladder.  Other times (just not during COVID, maybe) we find it at a café table in a crowded city, sitting quietly while the rest of the world rushes by.

The thing is – almost always, it involves being still in some way. Still enough to really see what’s going on around us. Still enough inside that even if we’re hiking through a forest, our hearts can begin to catch their breath.

And ironically, being still is something that we often inherently wrestle with.

Right now, with so much of the country being stuck in quarantine or shelter-in-place ordinances, many people’s lives have suddenly taken a sharp and unexpected detour. Some, especially those in industries such as the medical field or essential services, have found themselves dropped into a crazy situation of long hours, extra responsibilities, and increased personal risk. Others have suddenly found themselves with limited hours or perhaps a lost job. Still others may be working at home for the first time.

For some, the race just went double-time. The need for peace and stillness likely doubled, too.

For others, the race just stalled. For the first time in months, perhaps, something outside their world has just cut the engines—leaving them with a vacuum of activity, extra time, and perhaps energy too.

Streaming services like Netflix or Amazon Prime can make a killing in times like these. Everyone’s home, trying to find things to do. And stillness – stillness is so often something we avoid.

When we’re still, when we choose to actually stop and think, we have to start seeing life as it is. Where we are at. And much of the time, we really don’t want that.

It’s so much easier to keep coasting. Or sprinting. Or climbing. Or striving.

But what if – what if we chose to be courageous enough to stop and look? To let God show us the things in our lives that need to change, or the things that are going well? Or just to be still long enough to sit quietly in Jesus’s presence, and to know that He is God amidst the craziness of our lives?

Sometimes stillness looks like a few moments alone. Sometimes it looks like a day-long hike. Sometimes it involves giving something up for a while. Sometimes it fits naturally into the day. Sometimes it involves a total re-prioritization of our schedules.

But whatever it looks like for you…and whether your life just transitioned to a “crazy sprint” pace or slowed to a snail’s crawl…maybe the most courageous thing you could do this week is to just take some time to be still.

The stillness before dawn is incredibly peaceful – and it ushers in a time of immense beauty and splendor. And that means more than ever this Sunday, even if you can’t be with others at sunrise on Easter. This weekend, as we approach Easter and all the glorious hope that it holds, as we remind our hearts of our Savior’s love, as we look to His example of steadfastness and strength, may we also take time to just be with Jesus. To be quiet. To be at peace.

This week, may we be brave enough to be still.

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