When You’re Running Ragged and Wondering How to Catch Your Breath

The raindrops still clinging to the branches come splattering down on me and I look up to see a squirrel bounding overhead from one tree to the next. The day is creeping back towards that muggy heat but in these last few minutes of the cool morning, I’m sitting outside trying to catch a moment.

Because the world can get going so fast, so furious with all the urgent, the must-deal-with-now and the can’t wait until tomorrow that you start to think that the most important way to spend your time is staring at that glowing screen. Just trying to keep up with the never-ending rush of everyone’s demands and the immediate problem and the whole thing just leaves me ragged.

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So I’m outside under a still raining tree on a sunny morning and I’m watching the birds flit and close my book, curling my feet under me to just listen. Because, my word, is nature loud! The sun spilling through the leaves and there’s a chorus of bird calls and squirrel chortles and somewhere in the distance I hear the hum of traffic.

But all this noise, all this talking, all this music, it’s the uplifted chorus of a nature praising its Maker. And try as I might to join in most days, the morning rushes past in the urgency of the immediate.

That sheep-watching, music-making Boy-King, he writes over and over again the secret that all of nature already knows, that praise in the morning sets the whole day.

And what if this whirling tornado I’ve been living in could be slowed down, could be stopped, if I just took a few moments each day and joined the raucous choir outside singing their praises to the Creator?

What if we checked our heart before we checked our phone? What if before the litany of emails and text messages and not so instant pictures started hitting the eyes, we hit our knees and just sat in silence?

Because Abba, yeah, He doesn’t say that to be busy is to know Him. That we’ll find Him in the running-with-our-heads-cut off craze of this 24/7 world.

Be still and know that I am God.

And in the morning stillness, as the baby birds chirp for breakfast and the squirrel jumps around and I’m swatting mosquitos, yeah, I can sense it.

That to be still is to hear God.

To quiet our souls and to pause is to give ourselves time to meet with our Savior.

That we can get so busy for Jesus that we actually miss Jesus.

And what if today, you and I just put the phone down and took ourselves and those around us running hard after life and we just sat still in the morning dew or the evening dusk? And we hit pause on the demands and the crazy and the to-do lists and the stressors and we just….stopped. And were still in the weight of it all and exhaled big and realized that two minutes of silence might be the best thing we do all day?

Because when you’re finding God and the soul is getting refreshed, is there anything more important? Can’t He do more in our waiting that we can do in our doing?

And yeah, it’s hard and uncomfortable at first and you feel downright lazy in a world that says go, go, GO! But you and I and this whole clanging world don’t need more people running hard after the wrong things. It needs people who have sat and been still to find their God before moving forward towards the one right thing.

Because loving well and living Jesus is a whole lot more meaningful to a world frayed and battered than a clean house and a completed to-do list. And you could gain the whole world and lose your soul and then what’s it all worth?

So let’s pause today. Take two minutes to be still. To know that He is God and let our hearts swell to the wonder of it all and join with all creation in praising loud our Creator.

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