Psalm 46:10 – Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth. (NIV)
Recently my wife and I took a much-needed vacation to the beach. I love going to the beach because it is such a wonderful place to relax and enjoy all of God's creation. One day during the vacation, I found myself sitting on our 19th-floor patio just staring out across the beach and the vast ocean. Just a couple of days before we arrived, one could not even hear the sounds of the water or the seagulls because of all of the bikers that were there. (It seems we arrived on the last day of "Biker Week '99") But that morning as I sat there on the patio I felt a feeling of total peace and tranquility as I viewed and listened to the works of God's hands. I think the contrast between that morning and the previous mornings made me appreciate it even more. As I continued to sit there, I began to feel the presence of God all around me, and it was wonderful.
So many times, however, we get caught up in the rush of our day-to-day lives and we forget to take the time to realize or recognize that God is even there. It is so easy to do, but the sad thing is that we are the ones who are really missing out. We are missing out on the blessing of spending time with our Lord and Saviour. We so quickly forget the omnipresence of our God, that He truly is everywhere, and that He is in all things. Each day, we walk out the door and go to our office, or to a client, or to school, and think and act as if we were leaving God at the kitchen table where we did our morning devotion. Our daily tasks consume us and we rarely take the time to just stop for even a moment and enjoy the presence of God in our lives.
We are not only guilty in our daily routines, but many times I think we even get too caught up in our church activities. Many of us take on responsibility after responsibility in the church, many times to the point that the things we are doing become just a routine for us. I am reminded of a phrase that my wife shared with me during the first year that we dated. At a youth retreat she had attended, they were discussing much the same topic of how we get too caught up in the activities at our church. The retreat leader issued them, what at first sounded like a strange challenge. The challenge was this: "Don't just do something, stand there!" At first many of the youth probably thought that the leader had become tongue-tied or confused and that what he had meant to say was, "Don't just stand there, do something." But the leader went on to explain what he meant. He used the same scripture reference that is written above. He was instructing the youth to take time to just be still and feel the presence of God, to enjoy the creation and wondrous works of God. He knew that the tendency of people their age was to get involved in as much as they could; that more meant better.
Just like these youth, we try to cram as much as possible into each of our days, whether it be work-related or church-related. Go, go, go. Do, do, do. We all need to take the advice of this youth leader: Don't just do something, stand there. We need to stand there and know that He is God. We need to stand there and enjoy what He has given us. Let us stand there and feel His presence consume us.
Prayer: God, help us to take time out today to be still and know that You are God. Amen.