Improved Version-How to Be Still

DSC_0023_060sigI now confess something you already assumed, I am human. The next confession is harder. I forgot something. Yet, we share this shortcoming, we all forget things. When I asked you to be still, it never occurred to me to share with you how I attempt to be still. Let’s clear that up now.

First, to repeat, learning to be still is a personal skill to develop. If we are honest, we must all admit that our lives today are anything but still-either inside or out. Culture calls us to be busy. Good news! God calls us to periods of stillness. We can ask him to enable us to be still when we can’t. Not used to asking God for things? Does it seem He never answers? He always does. He wants us to ask. He wants us to learn to be still. There are two places to be still, inside and outside. God reveals Himself clearly through things He has created. They are outside. My invitation to you, learn to be still outside.

Take this literally with me. When God tells us in His Word to be still that means still. Not on a bike, not walking or running, certainly without earbuds. Still-motionless, unmoving, silent-that still. This could be one of the best hard things you do for yourself.

In Romans chapter 1:20, Paul wrote these words.  For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So, they have no excuse for not knowing God. These words give us two delightful tasks to watch for when we attempt to be still outside.

  1. Look for God’s eternal power
  2. Search for His divine nature

Power synonyms are: strength, force, might, vigor, intensity, potent; others directly God connected are authority, supremacy, rule, command, dominion and of course-sovereignty.

Perhaps the best way for us to learn to apply Romans 1:20 to be still and seek God’s power and divine nature is to use a specific nature example.

Our home in Western Minnesota has four distinct, delightful seasons. Each spring Rose Breasted Grosbeaks migrate northward from Central and South America. They come to our backyard birdfeeder. Their appearance is highly predictable, they arrive within one or two days of May 8th. My eyes and heart enjoyed the sight of the first one at our feeder on May 9th.

Being still to watch the Rose Breasted Grosbeak allows me to see God’s eternal power and divine nature. Consider these:

Power-

  1. The Grosbeak’s regular, predictable to within a day or two arrival is truly an annual miracle. How many things must work just right for the birds to show up at the same time, every year? That’s power, God does this.
  2. The distance from Bogotá, the capital of Columbia, to our home in Minnesota is about 3,158 miles! The Rose Breasted Grosbeak used muscle power with feathers to arrive here. Where does this power come from? Watch a bird fly, God’s power is at work.

Divine nature-

  1. Male and female Grosbeaks team up to build their nest. They continue to work as a team to feed their clutch of 3-5 young. God is love. Can He create teamwork in a pair of birds? Certainly.DSC_0033_065sig
  2. Beauty! Male Grosbeaks are among the most beautiful migratory birds. A descriptive word phrase one writer used to describe the male Rose Breasted Grosbeak is an exclamation mark! God is the author of all beauty.
  3. Divine, meaning God like, or heavenly describes the Grosbeak’s call. Described as an improved American Robin call, their call is worth learning. God’s divine nature is clearly heard. You can listen to it here. My friend explains the Grosbeak call as, “a crazy robin,” it fits!

My encouragement to you: Seek times outside where you can be still. Begin a personal life journey to develop the skill of personal stillness. Watch clouds move, feel the wind on your skin, listen to wind create a symphony on the leaves of the trees near you. Gaze into the sky. Lying on the ground is, in my opinion, one of the most effective ways to be still. While you are still think about God’s eternal power and divine nature. They are both clearly seen.DSC_0022_063sig

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