When You Don’t Know What To Do…Be Still

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I need you to know something about me, and chances are, you will relate. While driving, I would rather go 10 minutes out of my way than to sit still in traffic. It just doesn’t seem right to be stuck on a piece of pavement that promises quick arrival and was intended for advancement. So, in an effort to feel like I’m making progress, I will take the first exit I see just so I can MOVE! I have taken detours that I later realized took me further away than I thought it would, but at least I was moving… I was going to find a way around that mess. But, in my experience, one of two things usually happens; my arrival is later than those who just stayed with it back on the “slow road” or, my efforts get derailed somehow and I end up right back on the road I was originally on, only to find that this time, I’m further behind than if I had just stayed the course to begin with. But rather than learning my lesson, I’m guilty of the whole “rinse and repeat” scenario, thinking that somehow, THIS time will be different. Isn’t that the definition of insanity???

As human beings, we are inclined to follow the path of least resistance. It just so happens that this seemingly easier path often takes us the long way around, leaving us with feelings of frustration and condemnation, especially when we see others beating us to the same destination we are trying to reach. So why do we do it? Why do we fall for the same trick every time?

I’ll tell you why; it’s because we’ve been conned into thinking that movement = achievement. We just want to be in motion. Because then, we can feel like we are helping the process along; that we are making things happen. But why do we have such a hard time with just being still? Why are we so compelled to always have noise around us, to always be in motion, to always be doing something? Why can’t we just sit in a waiting room and…wait? Why do we crave “white noise”? You know, the noise that we often need to drown out the deafening silence so we can go to sleep at night. For some people it’s the noise a fan makes, or maybe music. For others, TV noise in the background; white noise.  But heaven forbid we should lay there quietly in the darkness, where not only our bodies, but also our minds have to be still… Having said that, please don’t think that I’m saying something is always wrong if we need some of those familiar sounds to drift off. I’m simply saying that some people are very uncomfortable with silence. Therefore, they look for distractions to drown it out… it’s just one more way to “keep moving”.

In thinking of all of this, I realized that the noise of movement silences the inner voice, but stillness amplifies it. We don’t want to have to hear that inner voice because sometimes it reminds us of everything we haven’t accomplished, our lack of achievement, past mistakes and how someone else is always doing just a little better than we are. So we set out to get up once again and move, because remember?…movement = achievement… so why haven’t we “achieved”?

There is a scripture in Exodus 14:14 I’m reminded of. In this scripture, Moses is talking to the Israelites before God parted the Red Sea for them. He told them, “The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.” (NIV version) They griped and complained, but by the time it was all over, they witnessed a great miracle, performed on their behalf that day as they walked across the Red Sea on dry ground as God held back the waters and delivered them from the 400 years of slavery they had been in. Even so, they ended up turning an 11 day journey into a 40 year camping trip…I mean come on! 11 days vs. 40 years…now that’s a detour.

We often get anxious about circumstances and situations that arise in our lives. Because we don’t know what to do, or because we think we have all of the answers, we often bypass the whole “being still” process. As we gripe and complain, we don’t think we have time to hear from God, so we rush off toward the next detour or exit that promises relief. Ironically, we find ourselves going the long way around our situation or we find that God brings us full circle, right back to where we started.

He says, “Be still and know that I am God.” We are to stand still and see the salvation only He can bring into our lives. When we choose His ways of stillness in the times we find ourselves just wanting to run, we will find that more is accomplished by Him in the quiet place than in all of our motions of movement. God will always do things in such a way that He will get the praise and the credit for it. He does it this way, so that when other people see Him at work in us and for us, it will give them hope that He can and will do the same for them.

I would like to hear how you struggle with being still. Please leave your comments below. 

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About tracihaney

Traci is a wife and mother with a strong desire to see the family become all that God intended it to be. She has been married for 28 years to her husband Kevin since she was 18. They have two adult children, daughter and a son as well as a daughter in law and new granddaughter. Traci understands how blessed she is because she also knows the pain and emotional baggage of growing up in a very dysfunctional home and the toll that it takes on a person. Having experienced healing from those past hurts, she desires to help others heal in their own areas of hurt so they can live life to their fullest potential as they impact their families and communities as well. Because of her heart for parenting, she, along with her husband have led parenting small groups for the past five years at Milestone Church in Keller, TX which is their home church. They have recently become Small Group coaches, pouring into other leaders to help them to become more successful as they minister to the needs of their own groups. She has led women's small groups and has been involved in the single mom's ministry of Milestone Church as a blog contributor and speaker. Currently, she is in the process of writing a book on the subject of parenting and bringing up children who will continue as Christ followers even after they leave the home. With a strong desire to see people thrive in all areas of their lives, she writes this blog to offer encouragement, hope and sometimes, humor, for others. View all posts by tracihaney

5 responses to “When You Don’t Know What To Do…Be Still

  • Timothy Paxton

    I’ve always been a” white noise” person. I’ll have to ponder this for a bit.

    • tracihaney

      I’m right there with you. It’s not always a sign that something is wrong, just one of the exames I wanted to use because I think we all have our times when we don’t want to be left with our thoughts. Other times, we just have a hard time falling asleep, period….Lol 🙂 Thanks for commenting Tim 🙂

  • Christine

    Such a good reminder! So guilty of staying business, have to make quiet time more of a priority and remember a lot of time it’s in the whispers that he speaks to us!

    • tracihaney

      You’re right Christine. This is a reminder we all need. There are so many daily distractions that it’s easy to forget how to unwind and come away from it all. It all boils down to making an intentional choice and fighting for it. Like Jesus response to Martha when she complained about working alone because Mary wasn’t helping, “Mary has chosen the better thing.” May we all choose “the better thing” as well.

    • tracihaney

      I love that you said that because one of my favorite songs I’ve written is about that very thing. It’s titled “You Speak To Me In Whispers” 🙂 Thanks for reading Christiana.

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