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Be Still

On March 12, in our annual JV Training Team meeting, I started a session with an oddball icebreaker question, ‘If you were quarantined for two weeks what would you do?’ We all laughed and of course answered with varying degrees of seriousness to silliness. But we were all confident of one thing: that wouldn’t happen to us. Eight weeks later, I’m more than regretting asking that question. Eight weeks later the irony of that question is not lost on me. 

The word of the moment is uncertainty, and the new abnormal seems to be changing regularly. Daily schedules are thrown out the window, all our interaction is online through a screen, and the pace of life has somehow increased for some of us in its demands. How on earth are we to manage this?

Actually it's pretty easy. Be still. 

Three years back as my family was navigating a season of change, we found ourselves drawn back to a habit that had been a part of our vocabulary as a noun, but never really as a verb: sabbath. Growing up in church we heard the term plenty of times, but never found much use for it. It was old and antiquated and nothing that fit our current busy schedule. But that was the exact problem—our hectic schedule, our unrelenting pace in the world. Asking the question, “How are you doing?” was almost always followed up with one word: busy. 

Fighting against our busy didn’t require better time management or better systems. It required us to stop and be still. It required sabbath rest. In the beginning, God completes his work, and rests. God rests. The creator of the entire universe stopped, and didn’t just take a “day off” or use the time to catch up on some other stuff around the house. He stopped, intentional focused time to delight in what he had made. When he passes the ten commandments onto his people, he starts the fourth off with, “Remember the Sabbath” as though he knew we were going to forget. So slowly and surely we began to remember as a family. Getting the work and chores and things done on other days so that we too could stop all the doing, be still, worship and remember all God has done. 

In the constant stream of catching up and doing, there has been little that has been as refreshing as coming to the close of our week and welcoming God’s sabbath rest—delighting in all that he has given us of the week past and laying aside cares and concerns about the one to come. For us, it is the harbor in the storm of busy, the small space where we acknowledge that in the midst of all that is going on in the world, all the things out of our control there is the steady reminder that HE is, and that all we need to do is simply be still.



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