There I was, resting.
I sat still today.
I woke up early this morning, not before dawn or anything, but before the neighborhood had started to crackle with barking dogs and fitness walkers. I ambled down to pick up the paper in the driveway. I made myself a cup of coffee, and I then sat in a rocker on the front porch.
The new sun had yet to overcome the coolness of the night before. A leisurely breeze swirled the heady scent of nearby gardenia blossoms around my head. I’ve got to say, a cup of hot coffee and the aroma of gardenias in the tranquility of a fresh new day completely arrested my soul. I sat still for a good little while, perhaps ten minutes or so, which is a bit of a record for me. For that brief moment I touched what I will describe as a peaceful blessed assurance with the Creator of that holy moment. It was a sacred sensibility that brought a tangible flash of revitalization to my spirit.
I thought to myself, “Why don’t you do this more often?” Sadly, sitting still is not something I do habitually because it takes time. I have difficulty reconciling the passing of time with doing nothing.
Yet, there I was, resting! My mind soon drifted to the words of the 46th Psalm, “Be still and know that I am God.” Unexpectedly I was blessed with a new slant on those words. I had always read these words as akin to what an irritable teacher might say to misbehaving students coming into a classroom. “Quiet! And don’t forget who’s in charge!” This morning however, gently and plainly, I experienced these biblical words as invitation rather than demand.
Do you remember the first time you planted a seed in a Dixie cup? Likely at Vacation Bible School or kindergarten when we as children were invited to fill a cup with dirt, stick in a single seed, add water, and set it in a sunny window. Remember? The instruction was simple, “Water and wait, and see ‘something’ happen!” It was a secret about to be revealed. I remember being mesmerized the first time I witnessed that little green stem poking through the soil. This slender green shoot was nothing like the dried seed I’d pushed down into the dirt just days before. Amazing!
This morning I experienced this slice of the Psalms in a similar way. It was like someone had come near and with the twinkle of foreknowledge said, “Want to experience something awesome? Be very still and you’ll feel something that fills you with calming peace and face changing joy. You will experience a bit of God.” Once again, as so many years before, I was mesmerized!
To savor the power and promise of what God offers, I have to stop, linger, and smell the gardenias! I need to follow this scriptural recipe that works anytime and anyplace. I must do better at being still.