Today’s Word: OPEN
Today’s Time of Stillness: 1 minute
Jesus said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them. – Mark 10:14-16
They arrived in the sanctuary a few at a time, ready in their costumes. Shepherds squirming in their brown robes. Angels balancing halos of garland atop their little heads. Wise men following stars following cows. All waiting – a bit fidgety, a little impatient, but filled with wonder anticipating Celebrate Christmas.
Practicing a discipline of stillness is like that for me sometimes. Trying to keep my inner toddler from wandering off or to stop tapping their shepherd’s crook incessantly on the wooden pew. A little fidgety. A little impatient.
But when I finally give in to it, the stillness opens up room in me. In my mind. In my presence. Room for rest and room for wonder. We spend so much energy cramming all we can into all of the spaces in our lives – our calendar, our closet, our mental checklist – that when room is finally created, anticipation can’t help but well up with the wonder of how it will be filled. How God will fill it.
I hope you practiced your one minute of stillness today. It seems like nothing in the grand scheme of time. But even in that brief respite from thought and activity, a hush fell over my spirit. When my mind is so full, I think I know all I need to know. But with stillness comes room for possibility, possibility beyond me. Wonder of what I don’t yet know, what I’ve not yet seen. Peace that it’s not all up to me.
Be still this Advent. There is a child about to be born somewhere. Stay open to the wonder of it all.
Tomorrow’s Word: HOPE
Tomorrow’s Time of Stillness: 2 minutes
The Spiritual Practice of Stillness
Stillness is a form of prayer, but it is a time without words – our words, anyway. In stillness, we rest before God, believing that God is present, whether we can feel that presence or not. We rest in knowing that we are beloved by God and that God desires us to be with him. That is why Jesus came – Immanuel, God with us.
Maybe you will hear a word from God during your times of stillness or maybe you will be all too aware of the butter you need from the grocery store for your cookies or the bird outside your window tweeting much louder than usual.
Don’t be frustrated by wandering thoughts. Use Today’s Word as a breath prayer to call your mind back to God.
And don’t judge your time of stillness by how “productive” you think it is. It’s not about what you do, it’s about who God is. Our being in God’s presence matters to God and so it matters to us.
Blessings this Advent season!