To be “STILL” is a challenge for me!
I was reminded of that struggle recently as I was gazing over the Pacific ocean from a restful vantage point on the campus of Pepperdine in Malibu California. It was sun rise the day following my presentation and I had no further commitments for the week, however I was struggling to STILL my mind and just attend to the beauty of the vista before me. The picture included in this blog was actually taken in that still moment of sun rise. To STILL my focus on the present, absorbing the presence of the moment should be simple.
Simplicity can be complex. The simplicity of present focus, attending to the moment, requires an intentional release of the complicity of concerns from past or future moments. To still the mind one must loose the self and rest the soul.
Self feeding can be often consumed by the need for significance. Fear of disapproval can be a hunger that is never satisfied. This consuming focus can become an obsessive thinking pattern which does not rest, even when a task is done. Fear of what might have not been done well in the past and how can it be done right and the future.
Soul feeding is not a frantic obsession of concerns rather it is a trusting restful focusing on the authentic presence of a faithful, loving God. In his book Soul Keeping: Caring for the Most Important Part of You John Ortberg says
The more that we focus on our selves, the more we neglect our souls.
That is what was corrupting my attempt to be still. I was focused on the concern of my acceptance and approval. I was neglecting to focus on the reality of my soul. That reality is that there is nothing I can do that will take away or add to God’s acceptance and approval of the essence of my soul. To rest the soul, means to lean into God, focus on His love, His protection, His strength, His presences in you. To let go and BE STILL focus on letting thoughts go and be in the moment. Psalms 46:10 ….
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; (NIV)
He says, “Stop your striving and recognize that I am God! (NET)
To Be Still takes a willing effort to cast off concerns, plans, thoughts and fears. To Be Still is a remedy of rest for the soul and the body. Medical science has proven that the brain of our physical body benefits greatly from a mindful attuning to only the present. The simplicity of present focus is energizing to mind, body and soul. To Be Still as we trust in the reliance of God feeds both soul and self.