Try not to think for five minutes.
Yeah, I can't do that. I've tried. Meditation never did it for me. All that did was predispose me to get some sleep. Blogging is in theory for me the practice of emptying your head of thoughts, ideas, and has served as a cathartic purpose like that. But it doesn't shut the brain down.
"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10 gives what is, for me, one of the hardest commands of scripture. Not stillness of body, but stillness of mind. Some translations say, 'Cease striving' or 'Our God says, "Calm down," 'Let be and be still', 'Desist', 'Stop', and the most perplexing (The Message) 'Take a long, loving look at me, your High God, above politics, above everything.'
This past weekend at the Women of Faith conference one of the speakers, Sheila Walsh, put it another way, and I think I get this way the best. 'Let go, and know that I am God.'
Certainly touches on the heart of why I struggle with stillness. How much do we hold on to everyday? How much of our hurts, our fears, our shames, do we wrap around ourselves like an armor? And why?
I have a theory. Being known, being loved by God, truly, completely, and how He intended, is Terrifying.
Take that armor we make. Not God's armor. The stuff we fashion. The defense mechanisms. Paper-thin like a t-shirt, unable to truly protect us, but we frequently go around thinking and behaving as though God hasn't seen it all, heard it all, knows it all when it comes to our lives.
If I was to go to God with all my sins, flaws, talents, ugliness, beauty, I'd have to trust that He won't reject me. That He will do all He promises to do. Love me. Heal me. Restore me. Refine me.
Of course I can give any number of reasons why I don't go running to His throne, knowing what he's promised me. He might ask more than I can give, more than I can do. He might take away something important to me.
All of which boils down to this: I don't trust Him to be who He says He is.
I've blamed God in the past for things that have hurt me, for circumstances not turning out the way I thought they should have, that He promised me, which is untrue, He didn't promise me anything save that he would never leave me nor forsake me.
I've used my addictions as a shield. I've let sin in my life be my defense against the all-powerful love of God. And it hasn't made me happier, or safer, or even stronger. It's merely withered my faith, eroded my hope, and distorted my love.
But that's not the end. I'm not stuck in the place of trying to defend myself by myself, with a shield full of holes and as thin as paper. I'm in a place of learning that I can let it all go, and know that He is God, He will deliver me, and I can trust that, no matter how many times I fall on my face. He'll just set me on my knees.