Today’s Word:  RELEASE

Today’s Time of Stillness:  2 minutes

“When my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul.” – Psalm 94:19 (NASB)

The pile of mail and magazines and store circulars on the kitchen counter is not the only clutter that needs addressing to get ready for Christmas.

I’ll confess that my time of stillness yesterday didn’t come at the perfect time I had planned, when nothing else would be happening and I’d slowly light a candle and ease gently into a comfortable chair and silence before God.

Instead, it happened when I raced to my desk minutes after I returned home from a holiday gathering, where, over pecan pie, I remembered that I hadn’t placed the order for the most longed for gift on my husband’s wish list, and the cyber sale was ending at midnight.

As I slid in my seat and opened my computer, the dreaded “Updating” message came on to my screen.   Experience has taught me, this would take a while.  A good time for stillness.

I think it was that abrupt shifting of gears that made the stillness so meaningful.  From chaos to quiet in my mind.

I don’t know what it’s like in your head, but some days thoughts circle around in mine like a swarming scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds.  It wasn’t just getting the gift purchased that was rattling around in my head when I sat down.  There was a hard conversation from the day before that kept playing over and over and over again.  The speech I was preparing to express my frustrations to the cable company…that I would never give.  Ideas about Ahaz and the Assyrians for my Sunday School lesson.  Whether anyone noticed the tag still on my sweater tonight.  Worries about nuclear war with North Korea and whether my kids will still call me when I’m old.  Wondering if my friend will get good test results and if recycling pick up is this week or next.

How does it all fit in there?

As I began my time of stillness, I could feel my shoulders drop, from high up at my ears down to my side.  Thoughts and words and fears and worries and nonsense flowed out like a rushing stream.  And I felt ten pounds lighter.  Not because those things had been settled or solved.  But because there was now space.  Space to breathe.  Space to hear. Space for God to remind me that there is some clutter I need to throw away to make room for Jesus to come in new ways in my life this Advent.

Love the Lord your God with all your mind.


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