“Be still and know that I am God.”
When my life gets too complicated, chaotic, or unbalanced I turn to these words from Psalm 46. They remind me of two things. First, to slow down. I need to take time to reflect, to spend time in nature and pursuing interests that fill me spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Second, who is in charge. Usually when my life has gotten complicated and out of focus it is because I am trying to take charge of everything. God is in charge.
For me simplicity and balance go hand in hand. Whether it is at work, at home, with my family and friends when I keep it simple I can balance all of it better. For example, I have a passion for animals. I rescue many types of animals, from horses to sheep and goats. If I allow the number of animals to get out of control I find that I spend far too much time and effort on them and am tired and worn out at work or don’t want to spend free time with friends. I must concentrate on simplifying my animal load so that the rest of my life is in balance. I can rescue some, but I cannot save them all. When I get overwhelmed with frozen water buckets and a sore back from loading hay I need to stop, be still, and remember that God is in charge. God will provide for the ones I can’t.
I find this to be true in the congregation I serve as well. I would love to visit everyone and preach the perfect sermons every week. However, when I do that I neglect the house work or eat fast food risking my health to fit it all in. I have even forgotten to feed the animals. Again, I need to find that balance and simplify. Sometimes a phone call works just as well and the Spirit will speak to the people where my sermons might not.
Don’t get me wrong, keeping things simple and in balance is not easy. In fact, I could complicate a bowl of cereal, but I have a shot if I keep God and scripture at the forefront of everyday and throughout the day. Faith can get complicated as well.
I sometimes wonder why it isn’t good enough for people to know that God loves them. It’s that simple, God loves you but at least once a week I have someone who complicates this and it throws their life off balance. How can God love me, why does God love me, how can something bad happen and I still believe God loves me? Why does God love that person? Sometimes I want to say whoa, slow down, wait a minute, God loves you, breathe.
Most days keeping it simple starts with the question what do I do today? It would be nice to know what I want to do with life, but mostly I just need to get through the day. What do I want to do today? The answer is the same everyday, I need to remind myself of that. I want to serve the Lord. Whether that is God’s creation, God’s people, or God’s child in myself, I want to serve the Lord. It only gets complicated when I make it that way. Every day I need to “be still” and asses the day. Am I serving God? With what I have done and what is next on the agenda, am I serving God? If the answer is yes, then I’m good. I don’t have to worry about how much, or what others are doing, I simply have to serve.
“Be still and know that I am God”.
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