The Art of Stillness

Newton’s First Law of Motion:  Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.

I’m no physicist friends, but I have spent the last few weeks living out Newton’s First Law. I have been in uniform motion – propelling ahead, teeming towards the goal, peripheral vision blinded, focused, forward motion. My mind and body have been engaged in a rigorous bout of tug-of-war. On opposing sides are the desire to rest and the need to do. Caught strangled in the middle is the seeming luxury of stillness.

Which side gives way and allows the other to win? What do I let go of in order to achieve balance?

Somehow in my admittedly mixed up frame of mind is a voice that pushes me forward harder and faster. It tells me that my worth is dictated by my degree of motion. That the quantity in my days marks the quality of my life. That results outweigh process. That life becoming a blur is somehow normal, or right, or good.

That my busyness will be an acceptable offering on His altar.

But it’s not acceptable or right. What is it? Ridiculous. Truly. It is a never-ending cycle of ridiculousness and a battle that can only be resolved by a Higher Source – or an external force.

Newton’s First Law of Motion:  Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion [UNLESS] an external force is applied to it.

You can picture that constant state of motion, can’t you? Your head down, charging ahead, propelled by the prize and then {SMACK, SCREECH, STOP} you come face to face with that blessed External Force, our irrevocable source of Wisdom, Knowledge, and Purpose.

When God {the external force} meets us {the perpetual motion}, everything changes.

God has a way of pursuing us with what truly has meaning, doesn’t He? He applies His perspective to our lives through His word, through His presence. In light of Him, our motion is defined.

Unendurable trials become surmountable. Unattainable strength is accessible and magnified. The task, work, and path ahead become worthy of the climb because when we get to the top, we realize we were never really alone – He was always there with us propelling our steps onward.

The pursuit of balance is a vicious cycle without the pursuit of God.

“We plan the way we want to live, but only God makes us able to live it.”
Proverbs 16:9 MSG

Without Him, life won’t ever seem manageable. We simply weren’t designed to manage without Him. I can waste precious energy spinning myself in circles while I go it alone OR I trust—that He’ll meet me in the motion and what He deems necessary will come to pass and the rest, well …

It. Just. Doesn’t. Matter.

That’s how I find balance – I let go of the things He takes away.

I LET Him take them away and I STOP pursuing them once He has.

Whether it’s home, family, or work. People, relationships, or ministry. Things we love or things we chase, God will determine what stays and what goes. When we allow Him too, He will prove what is of value and what truly is worthy of our precious time and attention.

Because we can choose Him OR He will choose FOR US.

“Many plans are in a man’s mind, but it is the Lord’s purpose for him that will stand.”
Proverbs 19:21 AMP

Twenty-four hours after I originally penned this post, on the cusp of realizing the danger lying ahead and only catching a glimpse of the warning signs as I ran by them, God sent a very clear message. This wasn’t a gentle nudge. This was a remember-who-you-are-young-lady kind of discipline from heaven.

As I laid in bed for four days struck still by a vicious form of the stomach flu, back thrown out, body aching, I realized exactly who I was – and who I was not. I had come under the Divine Hand of forced stillness.

I should have seen it coming – but, I was just too busy. Lesson learned, mistake confessed, and for your reading pleasure, documented for posterity.

Here’s the thing: God isn’t after our acts of motion – His desire is the art of stillness.

To stop, to seek Him and be still. To find and choose Him in the midst of all that spins around us. And when we do, only when we do, there is balance. Perfectly placed, purposely planned, and measured with an exact precision we could never achieve on our own.

God sees. He knows. He has measured out the degree of pressure and the timing of relief. He is in control. With Him, there is balance. Because the weight and scales are in His capable hands, and so are we.

** Linking up with the beautiful blogging communities and the friends of my heart, Holley GerthMeredith BernardKristin Hill Taylor, and Jennifer Dukes Lee.

Featured Image Photo Credit

22 thoughts on “The Art of Stillness

  1. Tiffany, You have now described how God LOVES to get my attention… Through knocking my off my soap box with “health disturbances” (emphasis on “disturbance”) God knows just how to remind us that no force of our own can compare with HIS POWER! And that melts the dross of our impure motives quick, fast and in a hurry! Great Post! :)

    1. You are so right…no force can compare. It’s amazing the lengths He is willing to go to in order to get our attention and save us from truly damaging ourselves as we run about trying to control things! Thanks for visiting…it’s good to know I’m not the only one He forces to be still. :)

  2. This is captivating. Beautifully done and exactly how I feel day in and day out. I love this eternal line: “The pursuit of balance is a vicious cycle without the pursuit of God.” Thank you!

    1. Thank you, friend! It can be one of those pitfall patterns we women face every day, can’t it. So grateful we serve a God of grace whose mercies are new every morning. Thanks for visiting, Stacy. Hugs to you!!

  3. You know I love your words and your heart, but I’ll tell you again. And this speaks so loud to me, “When God {the external force} meets us {the perpetual motion}, everything changes.” Yes, He changes everything. And only He can change everything…even when we think we are in control, we never are. Ha. How often I’ve forgotten that. I’m sorry you were forced into stillness, but His ways are higher, aren’t they? Glad you are better and looking forward to next weeks words. xoxo

    1. Thank you, sweet friend. I forget I’m not in charge more often than I’d like to admit. Then God reminds me and I’m so glad that He holds this life in His hands. You are right…He’s the game changer!! Counting you among the many things I am grateful to Him for. Blessings and looking forward to next week too!!

  4. I really appreciate how you highlighted that we need to take positive action to be still, otherwise we will just continue in motion. So easy to overlook this and just assume that stillness will come when there is time, when “everything” is finished. But it won’t! We need to build in a time to stop and be still. Thank you for sharing this so clearly.

    1. You are so right! I’m a “finisher-first”, get all my ducks in a row kind of girl and sometimes those darn things just don’t line up! :) We do have to make a conscious effort to choose Him first and then just as His word says…everything else falls into its rightful place. So glad you visited and shared your thoughts. Blessings to you!

  5. So true. God stopped me in my tracks with my broken wrist that is still on the mend with the cast off. He is most certainly in charge and only He knows the plan and why things happen or do not happen.

  6. “When we allow Him too, He will prove what is of value and what truly is worthy of our precious time and attention.”
    YES! Giving God the reins is never an easy thing for me, but I always have that desire! To let go of those reins is for me to do before He takes them away. BUT, either way, He shows me what I need to know. Thank you for your words today. Words I needed.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda

    1. Hi Linda…so glad the words met you. I’m not one to easily let go of the reins either…but yes, God is faithful to follow through and reveal the value and worth when I do. Gives me the desire to surrender all the more! So glad you stopped by today. Blessings to you!

  7. This is awesome… “The pursuit of balance is a vicious cycle without the pursuit of God.” We forget and lost sight of balance so easy. I so much appreciate the reminder to be still… “be still and know” !!

    1. We do lose sight of balance, don’t we Rachel?! I think it’s because we are so busy moving full steam ahead we just lose our footing and altogether forget the value of being still. I’m glad you found the reminder to be still and yes, know!! Here’s to both of us remembering! So glad you visited me today. :)

  8. I use taking plenty of quiet time to gain some balance to keep my chronic depression disorder from flaring up… space to breathe, decompress, and allow myself to hear from God… and as a result, being still with Him not only keeps me spiritually and emotionally healthy but mentally healthy too.
    I hope readers take your words to heart today, He never rewards striving. But always resting in Him.
    Beautiful post, Tiffany! Visiting from over at #Woman2WomanWednesday

    1. Stillness really is the remedy for whatever ails is, isn’t it Christine?! We take it for granted but you are so right, taking that time to breathe and decompress before the God who holds our lives really makes a HUGE difference. I’m so glad you stopped by and shared your remedy. Blessings to you!

    1. You are welcome, Lisa. Sometimes it does take a while to put on the brakes, doesn’t it? Guess that’s why stillness is an art – the choice sure isn’t easy. So glad you visited me today. Blessings!

  9. Stillness has been on my mind lately. This post spoke so powerfully to me. I’m going to read it again. Thanks for encouraging well with your words. And thanks for linking up at #ThreeWordWednesday.

  10. Oh this is so so good! And this: “Here’s the thing: God isn’t after our acts of motion – His desire is the art of stillness.

    To stop, to seek Him and be still. To find and choose Him in the midst of all that spins around us. And when we do, only when we do, there is balance.”

    Amen and oh my, how I can forget the truth of this! Thanks for the reminder!

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