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The be still challenge

 

Brenda Nail DeLauder Columnist

  This year during the holiday season, I was determined to stop and savor it all. Some years, Christmas rushes by me so fast I fail to really enjoy it, because I’m all wrapped up in “busy.” I decided early on I would try changing that approach and find moments of quiet. So each time I stopped myself and sat down with a cup of cocoa and had a peaceful minute, I congratulated myself on this major accomplishment. It’s always the little moments of life, where I find my biggest smiles. I don’t have to do anything special, but simply stop and take a moment to enjoy the decorations, read a book, or head outside to commune with nature.

  I was so sure by taking time out to rest and enjoy, I would also avoid my annual cold or sinus infection. Of course our best laid plans are seldom as we imagine, so here I was after Christmas, dealing with the very thing I hoped to have avoided. I tried explaining to God I didn’t need to be ill to stop, but also realized that probably wasn’t true. In a number of places throughout the Bible, God tells us to be still and wait for the Lord. Every now and then God throws a rod through the spoke of our bicycle in order to make us take a break.

  I had finally gotten the house back in order with all the decorations packed away, so now it was time to stop and let my body rest while it battled the illness. Needing some fresh air, I bundled up and headed out to the park bench in the yard so I could sit in the sunshine. Catcher, the outside kitty, was delighted for the chance to get attention and I found sitting still, outside where I could hear nature, was not a bad compromise.

  It took three days for me to actually stop. I made striving efforts at it each day until I could sit down on that bench without moving, thinking, worrying, or making a list. Instead of allowing my mind to keep running along, I would shut my eyes and listen. I have always enjoyed the sounds of nature, but when you concentrate on each sound, it can be amazing. Some bird calls I easily recognize and others I just know are familiar. I can tell by the sound of the squirrels when the cat is on the way over to me. One late evening I slipped out to sit for a minute and was rewarded with the snort of a deer who was not thrilled to find me blocking the pansies.

  The enforced rest made me stop and simply be still. Those of us who thrive on being active, often find being still is next to impossible. Yet God does not tell us to “be still and keep working” or “be still and make a list.” He tells us to be still and wait. The length of time we are to be still probably depends on how long it takes us to actually do so.

  Not only is the rest helping me physically, it’s strengthening me spiritually as well. The rest I needed was to get me ready for the next task at hand. I have no idea what or when it will come around, but I know I will be ready for it. God’s plan is awesome and if we listen for Him, we will know how and when to follow Him. He takes care of our every need, even teaching us how to rest. “The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want!”

 

  Brenda Nail DeLauder is a native of Henry County. Her heart remains in her hometown.

 

 

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