Do you know how to be still with your mind? Are you able to be alone with your thoughts? This used to be very challenging for me. In fact, it was almost scary for me to be alone with my own mind. And forget about trying to quiet it enough to process my thoughts.
“Sit still . . . until you know how the matter will turn out.”—Ruth 3:18
In this passage, we find an older woman giving advice to a younger woman. After they had done all they could reasonably do, it was time to sit and be still—to wait and see how the matter would turn out. They waited to learn what God’s direction would be so they could move forward.
Sometimes it's easy to think we need to do something: fix something, move something forward, figure out next steps. However, patiently waiting to see how things will develop is also doing something. Once we have done everything we can do about a situation, it’s then time to mindfully and prayerfully surrender and see how things progress. Oftentimes, they move forward with ease. Things frequently move forward in a way we didn't anticipate, with a solution or outcome beyond our dreams. In fact, we may find that events unfold in a truly amazing way.
One thing that helped me grow more accustomed to stillness was to practice. I would sit still, listening to my breathing and mindfully focusing on a verse or observing nature. In the beginning, I was only able to quiet my mind for a few moments before it would begin racing. So I’d reset and do it again. I found that slipping into conversation and prayer with God invited peace.
One translation renders the above verse "until you learn how the matter will turn out," which really touches my heart. We need to be attuned and alert to learn how things will turn out. Wait and the answers will come.
So if we can still our minds, surrender in prayer, and then sit still, then we will learn, discover, and understand—yes, hear the answer. It’s then that we will learn how the matter will turn out.
Volunteering my time in the community is a treasure. Sticking to a good spiritual routine keeps me centered. A daily gratitude practice supports contentment. That’s not easy in our challenging times! I stay focused on my goals, keep everything in balance, and remind myself from time to time that it's going to be ok, that I’m going to be ok. I remember to just continue doing all I reasonably can and then be still until I know or come to learn how the matter will turn out—or rather how God has worked the matter out for me.
Do you have a tough time with stillness? What helps bring you back to center? What takes you away?
To help, I encourage you to consider: What fear sits beneath that confusion? What sadness is under that overwhelm? What anger is under that frustration? What discomfort is under that restlessness?
If you’d like some help uncovering what’s under your restless mind, please contact me. That’s what I do. During a Level UP session, we clear what’s holding you back and create a focused path to your next-level self.
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