And by stop, I mean literally – stop. Right where you are. Breathe deeply. Sit still. Listen.
Don’t tell me that you can’t. That you don’t have time. That you don’t know how. I
am was the queen of can’t, don’t have time, and don’t know how to stop. I am have been the GO!GO!GO! girl. I’m not saying that I don’t empathize with your busy life and your long to-do list. Oh how I understand. I’m just saying that we don’t get to use those excuses anymore. Those excuses keep us stuck on the path of pain and frustration. It’s the path led by self, and its road takes us on a journey to emptiness.
The opposite of GO! is stop. This is what I have to do several times each day as I retrain my thought patterns and turn my heart away from self and toward God’s leading. The truth is that I must make time to stop because I don’t have time in my day to waste thinking anxious thoughts. I don’t have time in my day to worry. I don’t have time in my day to be frustrated over issues I have no control over.
But there are people to care for, jobs to do, meals to cook, bills to pay, and the never-ending to-do list to accomplish! Go! Get it done! We must plow through and work and keep saying yes to people and worrying about how to make it all happen!
We cannot do this without Jesus. Stop. Breathe. Pray. Every time you feel anxious. Every time you are afraid. Every time you feel inferior. Every time you feel like you’re not doing enough. Every time you have to make a decision. Every time. Stop. Breathe Jesus in. Ask the Spirit to guide you. Relax in His presence. Walk with Him. Accept His gift of peace.
Do you remember my post several months ago called Pull Up a Chair? Can I encourage you to go read it again? God has so much to teach us. His words are so rich. His voice is so powerful. His works sustain us. Nothing we do apart from Him accomplishes anything (John 15:5). We need Jesus for our daily survival and so that we can thrive while we serve.
While God continues to teach me and while I am recognizing that I still have so much to learn – I can not tell you how grateful I am that I am learning to stop frequently during the day to re-focus. I still work hard. I still accomplish everything God needs me to each day. In fact, I do believe I am more productive now than I have ever been before.
I stop so that I can seek Him. I stop so that I can learn. I stop so that I can hear truth. I stop so that I can go. Only now I am going in the direction God points – the road that leads to peace.