Unexpected Stillness

Yesterday, running out of the door for Classical Conversations I popped vitamins in my mouth. I didn't think it would be a big deal. I had my coffee and pumpkin bread with me to eat on the way. My stomach wouldn't be empty for long.

However, it was a big deal.

I ended up getting sick and having a pounding headache. I won't give you the gory details, but I learned my lesson.

I was supposed to help in the toddler's class but someone else covered for me and I found myself taking a walk in the fresh cold air. I noticed the changing colors of the leaves. Orange fruit that I couldn't identify hung on a try, vibrant against the browns and greens.

Getting back in my car, reclining the seat and closing my eyes, I was a bit at a loss as to what to do with myself for the next 2 hours. I wish I'd brought a book, but my pounding headache would probably have prevented me from reading. I checked my phone for emails, Facebook and Instagram feeds.

Despite my physical state, my mind was restless and had a hard time quieting.

At last it did. I found myself praying and just enjoying silence. After a while, I listened to a podcast by Donna Otto. The series was on drawing near to Christ.

I appreciated her insight into what "drawing near" looks like. And this quote particularly captured me:

The reason for stillness and solitude and silence is that you'd get to know your God. It's the drawing near. He is a God that can be known. Too much silence draws us away from the very life God called us to relationally with one another. Too much noise can pull us away from God.  

Immediately, I could identify with the tension between desiring the silence that draws me to God, as well as the noise that can draw me away from Him. Sadly, though, sometimes I waste the time I could have with getting to know God better on lesser things: social media, movies, TV, and the like.

Nothing is wrong with these methods of communication and entertainment. However, I admit they can often leave me feeling more empty than filled.

Also, I can sometimes crave silence for my own comfort, ease, and selfishness. It's not to know God better, is just to be left alone! Relationships can be hard, messy, and draining. It takes commitment! But God isn't calling me to retreat within myself and away from others either. He wants me to be willing to lay aside my own ease and quiet at times to do work He's prepared for me, whether it's meeting my child's needs or meeting with a friend or taking a meal to a new mom.

The tension between doing and being. Of serving others and communing with God.

Life with three kids five and under means there's not many quiet moments in the day. Choosing to homeschool means there's also not many times when I find myself without my kids. So I realize more and more I need to capture random moments to draw near to God, whether praying when folding laundry or meditating on memorized scripture while making dinner. I shouldn't relegate my time with Him to just my morning Bible reading while children wake and interrupt and I stare at the page blurry-eyed with sleep.

In yesterday's unexpected stillness I was reminded, to draw near to God all day. Even when I'm feeling sick sitting in a car.