Did I catch you scrolling social media, trying to convince yourself it will help you relax and destress? ;)
The practice of stillness is not something our culture really values. Just think about the last time someone asked you how you have been? Was your answer, "busy"? Here is a quick activity you can do right now to slow down your thoughts and practice productive stillness. I had to throw in the word "productive" to keep you intrigued. ;) Start by taking some deep breaths. God has breathed into us the breath of life. Take this breath of life, remembering where it originated, and allow it to settle your body and your mind. I like using the 4-6-8 deep breathing exercise. Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold the breath for 6 seconds, breathe out for 8 seconds, like breathing through a straw. Repeat this cycle five times and then return to normal breathing.
Next take Psalm 46:10 and slow it down during your "be still time" by taking each word and and thinking about it in pieces.
Be (how am I to be? what am I to be? Who is speaking in this passage, telling me to be something? What impact does this statement have knowing who is saying it?)
Be still (Think about what does still mean? What does it not mean? How often are you still? How hard is it to be still? What makes it hard for you to be still? What happens when you are still?)
Be still and know (What does it mean to know? Know what? What things do I wish I could know? What do you think about God saying to be still with a purpose?)
Be still and know I am God (Where else in the Bible do we see the phrase "I am"? What images, or thoughts come to mind when you think of God? What is God's character? What do you know about him? How does knowing he is God impact you right now, in this moment? Why would God want you to know he is God? What does being still have to do with knowing he is God?)
These questions can be used as journal prompts, or as food for thought and reflection.
End your time of stillness by talking with God. God, I have a hard time being still. My mind is always thinking, ruminating, sometimes worrying, or trying to figure things out. I confess I often value busyness over stillness. Thank you for reminding me I need to be still. The thing you want me to know in my stillness is that you are God. I often want to know all kinds of things, but the thing you want me to know the most is that you are God. Your character, your goodness, and your power are infinite, so there is a lot of knowing about you I still have to learn. Help me to remember to practice stillness so I can know you are God. In Jesus name Amen!