“Just throw them in one more time Mummy, pleeeease!”
I’m on holiday, so I spent the morning throwing diving toys into the pool over and over again. ‘Treasure’ for my six year old mermaid to retrieve from the bottom of the deep.
After a while I observed a technique developing. I would throw all the toys in at once, and instead of diving in immediately, my sweet sun-bleached mermaid would stand on the edge of the pool and wait for a while, looking.
Of course I asked her what the pause was for,
“Mummy, you have to wait for water to stop being wiggly before you can see where the treasure is… then you can dive for it.”
The water of my soul has been a bit stirred up lately. A load of things have had my mind busy. not bad things on the whole, but there has been a lot of end-of-term activity, a lot of summer things that need planning and a few slightly stressful jobs lurking at the back of my in-tray, and the water has become churned up. The treasure that I’ve been looking for has been difficult to see, like colorful smudges on the bottom of the pool.
so I heard God speak to me today – you really need to let the water settle.
I went back to the pool later, when the mermaid had gone inside to eat watermelon and watch High School Musical for the hundredth time, and it was still. Every toy was as visible as if it were already in my hand.
But for me, it doesn’t seem to be enough to just say ‘be still, my soul’. I actually have to do something to pull all those stirrers-up out of the water or at least to stop them thrashing about so much… So I did what I know how to do, I sat down and wrote a list of the things that help me find stillness.
Going for a walk, or a long swim
Listening to certain kinds of music
Writing a list of all the things that are stressing me, and then praying about each one.
Reminding myself that stillness isn’t a reward for those who are super good, or super spiritual, and that it is not, therefore, out out of my reach.