Thursday, November 18, 2010

Nothing's Not So Bad

Today a friend called and caught me doing nothing. My family had just left the house. This was one of those times I have a list for. Of course there are the usual things like laundry, dusting, thinking up what's for dinner, and paying bills, but these were not on my list. My list is a fun list. A list of things I want to do when I have time: work on my secret Christmas presents, wrap presents, write letters, write stories, read a book, bake bread. Carefree things. But when my friend called, I was doing nothing, and I sheepishly told her so. "You're supposed to just 'be' sometimes," she said. "I think it's biblical even." 

We talked a bit more and when we hung up I got around to doing one of the fun things on my list. As I did though I kept thinking about just being. She was right, it isn't wrong to sit and think, or just sit and not necessarily think. So after working on Christmas presents awhile I went to the Bible to see what it said. I love doing this because there are many translations, and they are all interesting. 

Psalm 37 tells us to "Be still and wait for the Lord," while in Psalm 46 God tells us, "Be still and know that I am God." or, in another version, "Let go [of your concerns]! Then you will know that I am God." Still other versions began, "Cease striving," "Stop fighting," and "Step out of traffic..."

In Exodus 14, God assures His people He will take care of them, through Moses: "(verse13) Moses answered the people, 'Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. (14) The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still.'" Looking at that one, it is comforting to know nothing was required for their survival.

A sobering verse, Zechariah 2:13 says "Be still before the LORD, all mankind, because he has roused himself from his holy dwelling." In all this stillness, it is good to think about the enormity of God. He is to be feared in one sense, but when you know Him, when you've pledged your life to Him because Jesus died and rose again for you, you really do need 'only to be still'.


  1. Excellent... Thanks for all the verses! We are human beings not human doings! I think we get so caught up in our culture of 'being productive' that if we can't measure our progress at the end of the day, we somehow wasted the time God gave us. In John 6:20, "Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent." Believing is our first order of business and out of that belief will spring the Living Waters and we will find ourselves 'being' exactly who God created us to be and sharing our gifts with others.
    Besides, who gets to decide what productivity looks like, or when enough is done in a day? When I start thinking in those terms, my life here at home w/the Sweet Pea can seem awfully unproductive!
    [I know there is a definate line where one gets lazy, not doing the very things they know they need to get done, and I am not speaking about shucking that, just the culutral definition of productivity.]

  2. It's true, what we tend to use to measure our worth, our output, is so useless when considered from an eternal point of view. It is good to stop and consider these things, lest we be swept away in the 'traffic' of life and forget what's really important.