Living quietly a moment at a time

Do you ever crave stillness? Where you have a moment to catch your breath without anyone’s expectations horning in on you? Where you can just enjoy the quiet without deadlines looming or people demanding things from you?

I didn’t used to. When I was younger, I loved being busy. And looking back, oh boy, was I busy! I can’t believe the schedule I kept when I was younger. I really have no idea how I did it without going crazy.

But now? Well, I still enjoy being busy. If I were bored, there would be something wrong. But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve started to yearn for the quiet, alone moments of my younger years, where I didn’t have so many responsibilities and so many people didn’t rely on me.

Moon setting at Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Moon setting at Safe Haven Farm, Haven, KS

Today’s verse is Psalm 62:5.

Let all that I am wait quietly before God,
    for my hope is in him.

It’s hard to be quiet when life is so loud. I don’t want to say it’s impossible, but it really is difficult to get focused when we have so many things screaming for our attention. But it’s important. It’s necessary.

If you live life in a constant flurry of activity, flitting from one crisis to the next, you never actually process the decisions you make. You can’t. You don’t have time. So you don’t learn from your mistakes. You don’t take time to enjoy your success.

So how do you wait quietly for God when life is spiraling out of control around you? How can you be quiet and still when that means you’ll fall behind?

What I’ve learned is that you can’t always be quiet and still. There’s too much to do. And if you are anything like me, you’ve probably gotten to the place in your life where you have so many people depending on you that if you changed directions suddenly, half a dozen ministries or projects would grind to a halt and fail utterly. If you back yourself into that kind of a corner, it’s my personal belief that you have a responsibility to see it through to the end.

That being said, you don’t have to eat, sleep, and breathe every project and ministry you’re involved in. If you can’t live your life quietly right now, learn to take advantage of the quiet moments when you have them.

When you get home from work, do you jump right into the next project on your list? Or do you take half an hour to decompress? When you finish one assignment, do you jump immediately into the next one, or do you take a walk and let your shoulders loosen up?

I’ve found that I’m actually more productive if I take a break between projects, than if I just power on through without stopping. If I take the time intentionally to breathe and rest and be quiet in between things, I can focus better and work faster.

People weren’t created to work all the time, to run crazy all the time, to kill ourselves on good things all the time. If we try to live that way, we’ll burn out.

So take the time to enjoy the quiet moments when they come. Don’t ignore them. Teach yourself to live quietly a bit at a time, and it won’t be long before you’ll find your whole life is a lot more quiet too.

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