Tag Archives: seeking stillness

Reflections

I’m searching for stillness.

There was a rare day of sunshine yesterday, so I went for walk in my local park.  As I wandered aimlessly along the riverbank, enjoying the frosty air and the slanted winter light, I suddenly found my heart caught up in the beauty of this sight –  sun and trees reflected almost perfectly in the still water.

A moment later and the wind had nipped at the surface, stirring the water into ripples and eddies which wiped the reflection away.  But joy had already captured my heart and I stood watching until my toes froze in my muddy boots, hoping to see it again.

Even the fast-flowing, muddy waters of the Derwent, when caught in a brief moment of stillness, can open a window onto heaven.

I’m aware that, in a way, this is us.  Made in his image and following Jesus, we reflect a tiny bit of God’s glory, or his likeness, into the world.  The light and the glory aren’t ours of course, both come only from Him, but, at our very best, we reflect that light and glory out into our lives, punching a hole in the veil between earth and heaven so that his kingdom comes..

And when we do there may be those passing by who are so arrested by the sight, so captivated by his beauty that they become desperate to see it again.

Our world so needs to have the God’s beauty reflected into it:  Light, joy, grace, redemption, forgiveness, love, peace, hope.

‘And yet’, the Spirit seems to be whispering, ‘to reflect the very best image the water needs to be perfectly still’.

Be still and know that I am God – Psalm 46:10

So that’s why I’m hunting for stillness.

Because I find a longing has awoken: a longing to be a reflector of that captivating beauty of God; a longing to be a window through which people see Jesus; a longing to see Heaven itself leaking through into the world. And I’m wondering if a bit more stillness in my life might be the key.

So I know it’s a battle to carve out the time to say to ourselves ‘be still’, but I’m convinced it will be worth it.  I’m going to take some time today, just a few minutes, to remember who God is, to draw on the deep well, to lean back into his strength.  Perhaps you could join me, so that through your stillness you can become a reflector of light, love, grace and beauty into the world.

Peace be with you.

 

There aren’t many answers on the back of this postcard – but in times of turmoil, i’ve found this helps – Our lovely choir leader taught us to capture a moment of stillness by taking a minute to breathe this prayer:

Taking a deep breath in for two counts you say to yourself, ‘Be still,’  then hold it for the next two thinking ‘and know’ then slowly breathe out for four – ‘that I am God.’  Try it.

 

2019-02-07 12.39.41

If you enjoyed this post – you might like my book Postcards of hope available here.   Ellie

Advertisements

Diving for Treasure

“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.

Stillness matters.

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.