By Amber Hejl, Sevenoseven Women’s Director Last month we gathered for Seek Night on Ash Wednesday. The night before, I had the terrible realization that if I was going to fast for something during Lent, I better decide within the next 24 hours. Often that approach leads to my hastily made commitments to give up sweets or soda till Easter. Which leads me down the path of rule following instead of pursing holiness, choosing to embrace dread instead of delight. Lately, my soul and mind hover somewhere between a state of unrest and busy. Often this manifests itself in housework, checking social media, watching Netflix, and hurriedly attending events. Unfortunately, I’ve allowed my preoccupation of things swirling around me to rob me of the present.
Kevin Deyoung says it best in his book Crazy Busy, “We are so busy with a million pursuits that we don’t even notice the most important things slipping away.”
So for Lent, I decided to slow things down and start pursuing rest. As a person who’s wired for structure and accountability, it’s messy not having a goal to meet. Rest doesn’t mean a free pass to sit on the couch for 40 days but choosing to find ways to better delight in God. While rereading Sabbath: The Ancient Practices by Dan Allender, I found this gem:
“What is the Sabbath is creating space to hear the Father speak to us as his beloved…. This day is ours given to use by the Trinity for our entry into the wild wonder of Jesus’ love for us…… Sabbath is not a break from work; it is a redefinition of how we work, why we work, and how we create freedom through our work.”
I want that! Creating mental space is hard work. It’s difficult to say “no” to good things in life to say “yes” to better things. After a long day, I struggle to turn the television off and opt for things that I find life-giving. Consciously, in that moment, I’m choosing between shutting my brain off or embracing activities that posture my heart to hear from God.
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah (Psalm 46:10-11 ESV)
Honestly, I haven’t mastered being still. However, my prayer is that I can better pursue Christ.
What does it mean to be still and know God? How is God calling you to slow down? How do you need to create space to hear from God? How can we redefine why we work?