Learning to Be Still

This morning I drove to the grocery store and as I pulled into my parking spot I looked up at the car in front of me. The license plate read “PEP.” Normally I just smile when I see that. For those of you who don’t know, that is what I call my dear grandfather who passed away last fall. However, this was the third time I had been behind a car that had a license plate reading his name in the last five days. It caught my attention even more…after grocery shopping I remembered I had a CD in my car that he gave to me years ago, never having been played before. Him and I had a bond over the movie Singing in the Rain, and the CD was the track from that movie. Of course the second I put it in I started crying, but there was more than that. I was taken into the scenes and imagery of the movie and realized how seemingly simple their lives seemed back then in the 1920’s. Now I know every era has it’s ups and downs but I was focused on how much “slower” their lives seemed to be. They had no social media, no cellphones, and way less availability to multitask every second of every day.

Why is it that today we can’t slow down?? Why is it so hard for us to just sit for five minutes without picking up our phones and talking to someone, scrolling, or standing right back up to clean something or check something off our to do list? I’m definitely talking to myself here, I am a pro at never sitting still. I’m always doing something. But then even when I sit down I’m not really still, I’m mentally doing a million things. I’m plagued by thought after thought of what needs to be done, or thinking through scenarios, etc.

I’m not saying in the 1920’s people had more time on their hands, or that they didn’t have tabloids or other things filling their minds. But comparing today’s society to back then I can’t help but feel like we have things thrown at us from all angles that are distracting us from the purpose of life, and they can distract us from fully experiencing what this life has to offer. In no way am I saying social media is bad or shouldn’t exist. In no way am I saying to sit on the couch all day and not get stuff done. But in every way I am saying we should be intentional about our time and sitting still and thinking about things that are beneficial to us. Filling our minds and days with things constantly can create clutter and harbor our ability to listen to what we need to hear.

So with that said, I have become more intentional with where I let my mind wander to, and capturing thoughts that could be a distraction from being able to hear. I have stopped making plans that fill up my calendar from morning to night without breaks. I want life to slow down, and since society isn’t working with me then I have to advocate for myself in that way. Join me?

You are my place of quiet retreat, I wait for your Word to renew me. Psalm 119:114

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