One of my extreme pleasures of life is getting up on a Saturday or Sunday morning and having my coffee and devotion on my screened porch. It isn't always possible of course. Some mornings I try to make an early appointment or exercise class. Somedays are too cold or dreary to be outside. But on the most perfect of mornings, like today, I am up early with no more pressing business at hand than drinking my coffee and reading my daily devotion. Today was especially nice with a little fog outside and the chill of fall in the air. I read, I drink my coffee, I pray and I plan my day. The chair that I sit in while I am doing all this is at the back of the little porch and faces the French doors that open on to the kitchen. I can see into the house and I can see past the side of the house, down the driveway to the street. I see cars passing by. I see the kitchen floor that must be mopped today. I see the dishwasher that needs to be unloaded. I see my computer on the kitchen table and think about how I need to check my emails, pay some bills and....are you getting the picture? Focusing on the task at hand is really difficult for me. Even though I am in the perfect place and I have all the tools I need to spend time getting aquainted with God, I am continually distracted by the mundane daily chores that I need to accomplish. Well, today I did something revolutionary. I turned my chair around. I know that seems pretty simple but it turned out to be revolutionary. Now I was facing out the back of the porch to nothing but trees as far as I could see. I sat quietly. I looked closely and I saw...nothing. Really-nothing. I expected to see birds or squirrels or some kind of activity but in actuality, I saw no creatures, no movement, not even a whisper of a breeze to rustle the leaves. At first, I was disappointed. Then I started thinking of the verse from Psalms 46:10, "Be still and know that I am God" Maybe this is what that verse is all about: being still and focused on God rather than the activity around us. How can you get to know someone if you are never still? never focused on them? continually distracted by your plans, your life. One of the most powerful prayers I have ever heard was praying this verse over and over and dropping the last word each time. It went like this:
Be still and know that I am God!
Be still and know that I am!
Be still and know that I!
Be still and know that!
Be still and know!
Be still and!
Maybe we all need to turn our attention in a different direction and refocus our lives on the true priority. Maybe we need to turn our chairs and face....nothing....so we can learn to BE alive in God's presence.