|two summers in a row together for us four|
At the age of ﬁve I was told I had the potential to become an author one day. My ﬁrst book was to be titled “ One Thousand and One Ways To Sit In a Chair.” Followed by its sequel “One Thousand and One Ways To Fall Out of a Chair.” The only problem I would face in this career path would be staying in a chair long enough to write it all down. Throughout my life not only could I be seen bouncing from one place to the next with an unmatched ﬂare for chaos, but in almost every respect, perpetual motion has been a theme for me.
While this desire for movement has been a driving force in my life, I never took notice of it until it met and clashed with my desire to know God. Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes this want for perpetual motion has landed me exactly where I needed to be and there have been numerous times where I have felt God calling me to move which I promptly responded to. Reﬂecting on my life it was in those seasons that God called me to move where I have felt the most joy and been a part of some really wonderful stuff. Moving forward in our lives and in seasons of our lives is a good thing, no surprises there, but what about when God calls us to be still?
Back to where I started, it may sound really weird but a lot of my childhood memories revolve around chairs (or falling out of chairs to be more truthful). One such memory, the place, time, and the person concerned for my well-being, are all interchangeable because of how frequently this happened, but for the sake of this particular post we’ll use what I like to call “The Time at the Crowded Restaurant.” My family, like most, really enjoyed going out to eat on occasion. The restaurant was usually nicer and before we left the house my siblings and I got the whole “Be on your best behavior” speech which generally meant don’t be too loud and sit still. I secretly think the speech was just for me but was said to all three of us so I didn’t feel singled out, because my sisters never really had a problem following that simple request. We got to the restaurant and it was pretty crowded so unless we wanted to wait for over an hour for our typical booth seats, we were given the option (probably to my parents dismay)to sit at a table with chairs. The second we were all seated I did what I do best and began to ﬁdget and move around in my chair. After just a few minutes I had successfully knocked over two glasses of water and received numerous concerned looks from the staff all the while my father was persistently telling me “If you would just sit still you could avoid this mess!” When the food ﬁnally arrived and I had managed to steer clear of any further disruptions I was feeling pretty good. So good in fact I started joyfully rocking my chair back and forth to a little victory song playing in my head. My dad took notice of that and quickly reminded me to not tip my chair. I stopped but without even thinking I started tipping my chair back and forth only moments later, right as the waiter walked around the table to set my food down. I remember it playing out almost as if in slow motion. The waiter reaching out in front of me with a plate of mashed potatoes, my chair tipping back just a little too far, my hands frantically reaching out in front of me to grab the table, and when I missed it, the chair, myself, and the plate of potatoes I had managed to grab instead, tumbling to the ﬂoor. In my head all I could hear was my father’s mantra from that evening “If you would just sit still you could avoid this mess.”
Looking back at the most challenging and difﬁcult seasons of my life I remember them like I remember that moment. When it comes to teetering precariously between trusting God and tumbling into a pit that I like to call life my way, more often than not I ﬁnd myself looking up from the ﬂoor covered in potatoes. God calls us to act and to follow Him but He also calls us to be still and know Him. While dashing into whatever He wants me to do and wherever He calls me to go comes easily, trusting Him in times where He calls me to be still has been a struggle for me. In the end though, when I have had enough of my way and I’m ﬁnally still, I can honestly say those are the times when I feel the closest to Jesus. When I spend considerable amounts of time and energy solely focusing on Jesus and knowing Him, growth, understanding, and peace naturally follow.
The past few months of my life have been one of those times where God is calling me to be still and trust in His plan for my life. It’s been challenging to say the least and I have deﬁnitely fallen ﬂat on my face more than a few times but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t thankful for this time to simply be still and know God. I have never had an opportunity to spend such a great length of time to just focus on God and forget the rest. I am so excited for what God has planned next for me but I feel so incredibly blessed, (even through the challenges) for a time of growth, understanding, peace, and stillness with an incredible God.