September 25, 2015

Cultivate stillness

Waiting...not known to be a favorite word - brings images of waiting rooms, waiting in traffic, even waiting for water to boil.  Yet it's a part of every process...the time between steps. Life in these United States encourages movement, forward thinking; even "time management" infers cramming in a much as you can.  Very little thought is given to waiting...until we are forced to wait, and then often impatience surfaces.  We don't like to consider ourselves to be impatient, masking it over with euphemisms that paint us in a more positive light - "multi-tasking", "making the most of every minute", even "carpe diem". In recent years, social media has added to the expectation of instant responses just as microwave ovens, remote controls, and fast food restaurants earlier provoked speedy response as they were introduced to our culture.

Over the past 10 years, life circumstances have caused me to learn the value of waiting, a practice which has made space for life elements with more restful, thoughtful value.  Pondering. Observation. Basking. Reflection. Listening. Insight. Giving preference to others. Peace. Patience. Serenity. Daydreaming. Appreciation. Thankfulness. Quiet. Learning. Study. "Taking time". Reading. Awareness. Stillness.

When our children were young, we discipled them in waiting as having value in life; a favorite song reflected that teaching:
Have patience, have patience;
Don't be in such a hurry. 
When you get impatient, you only start to worry.
Remember, remember, that God is patient, too,
And think of all the times when others have to wait for you. 
We do well as adults to be mindful of these things as well and to cultivate stillness - a pause, time well spent before the next step. Music would only be a cacophony of sound without timing, rests, pause; we should consider the value of a balance of timing in the whole of our lives. 

Father of Time, Ancient of Days, Creator of seasons, of sowing and reaping, guide us to rest in Your timing, to follow Your pattern, that we might more fully experience life as You intended. Open our eyes and tune our ears to Your rhythm and heartbeat that we might be just as ready to rest, to come away, as we are to step forward and be doers. Amen.

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