I’m grateful to know that Jesus took moments to go by Himself into nature to pray and be alone. Had He not taken those moments of stillness to realign in the peace of His Father, I’m not sure we would’ve understood the significance of it. He was setting an example of limitations and boundaries to preserve our freedom and wellbeing, not to limit them.
Especially in the midst of a time when work, home, and other responsibilities have all blurred into the same space, I’ve had to intentionally seek small ways to embrace the freedom of setting limitations so I can instead pursue stillness. What freedom I find in shutting off the phone for a few hours, allowing time for the Bible every day – especially before I look at email or social media. And what relief I get from making time to do nothing for a short segment, and even resting and worshipping when it doesn’t make sense considering my to-do list. Being “still” has become more of a priority, and I’m discovering that I’m more, not less, productive when I do that!
I recently made it a practice to sit by myself beside a pond near my house and force myself to do nothing for 30 minutes once a week. I guess if I’m completely honest, I do some things while I’m there. Sometimes I watch the fog slowly drift over the water. Sometimes I see how many forms of life I can see. And sometimes I watch when something makes a ripple in the pond to see if I can follow the ripple all the way across to the other side of the pond. Depending on my perspective and the angle of the sun, sometimes I can watch its full journey, and sometimes I only see it for a short distance.
This habit has been a great reminder for me about the importance of taking the time to notice where I am in relation to the perspective of the Son and taking a moment to be still and observe truth as He created me to do. I’ve also noticed that each time I walk up to the pond, I’m almost startled at the realization that it’s just as peaceful as when I left it a week ago, despite all the chaos that I’ve endured in life in the past six or seven days. The pond hasn’t absorbed my chaotic life. And perhaps I have absorbed more than I should. His truth, His reminder, sets me free from the burden to keep absorbing more than I should and reminds me of the value of stillness to release me from my perceptions of productivity. It’s a literal and spiritual breath of fresh air.
I encourage you, friend, to make a purposeful half hour this week to go by yourself into a peaceful place, noticing your relation to the Son, the life around you, and the freedom in the limitation of stillness. Relish in that freedom. It’s the way He wanted you to be.