I am learning to take moments of solitude, and learning to create space for silence. I am blessed at present with a season where I can practice both of those in the early morning hours, relatively consistently. I am loving my mornings alone, with God, his word, his lessons and the quiet.
I am loving the structure of this course, which directs me to consider certain things and gives me scripture to ponder. I have been surprised though, that the easy part has been the silence and the solitude. The stillness that is innately mandatory, that is the hard part.
I have found that even the quiet of silence, my mind is still so loud. Even in solitude, there are so many voices and so many things that my mind and body want to do. I keep reaching for my phone, or my planner. I keep fidgeting with the pens, the papers, the clutter on my desk, whatever is near me. I am jumping from one thing to another, even in my quiet space with no one to interrupt me but myself.
This morning, I recognize my problem is with stillness. I crave solitude. I love silence. But stillness... it is uncomfortable.
The lesson guides me to be still. Just be. Just hang out with God. Just be still.
Who would have guessed that stillness would be the hardest part of things.
I have been purposefully learning silence and solitude through these guided instructions for a week now. Today, I realize that stillness is an element of the discipline as well. Silence. Solitude. Stillness.
"Be still and know that I am God." Psalms 46:10
But, my brain wants to ponder the daily schedule, to take this quiet time to get things done, it wants to answer the emails, or consider what I need to cook for dinner. I wants to wander to things away from here, in this quiet space. It is anything but still, even in the quiet. Even in the solitude.
I still find myself anxious to move, to do something productive, and to accomplish. How interesting that I am so addicted to busyness, that even given the space to do it I struggle so.
So, I am learning. To recognize the stillness part. To pay attention to my body, and my mind. To focus on God's words, and not my to do list. I am trying to learn to just be. To just sit. To just listen. To just consider God. To just speak to him. To direct my brain, to give it God-things to focus on. To consider gratitude, Scripture, prayers, questions.
I am teaching my body to be still - to breathe slowly. To sit still. To just be.
My husband was marveling at our boys yesterday - how they never. stop. moving. Even when watching a favorite show or doing something "quiet" they are tumbling, playing with feet, fingers, things close by, each other, touching...touching..touching. They are wiggly and always moving. I laugh with him, because it is true. But, I see myself like them today.
I hear my Father, like theirs, saying: "Just. Be. Still. Have self control. Fold your hands so they aren't tempted to touch anything for this moment. Focus on being quiet, and just listening. Be still."
Stillness is it's own discipline. But, I am learning.