I’m wondering about stillness in motion. An apparent contradiction, can I have stillness of mind while body is in motion? I imagine serious athletes achieve this. Unwavering focus. The Zone? Tuning out the crowds, cheering, jeering. “Running with endurance the race set before me” comes to mind. (Some days I’d like to run away with endurance.)

Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:1-2

My “race” is not a foot race where I can just do my own thing. Put in my ear buds and establish a steady pace.

No, I am scrambling, addressing multiple people at the same time in person and on the phone, while cooking dinner, and doing laundry. I am Steven Segal, my lightening limbs striking everything in my path. Dinner, dishes, laundry flying. Husband and screaming children run for cover. It’s a bloody mess, and I can’t just leave the scene. I am not Steven Segal; I have to clean up the carnage.

During the most chaotic part of my day, 5-8pm (Un-Happy Hour, according to my cousin Jenny), how can I achieve stillness in motion?

1-”Lay aside every weight.” What can I eliminate from my evening race? My daily phone check-in with my Great Aunt simply must happen at some other time, despite the time difference. Figure it out already. To clarify, she is not a weight, but trying to talk on the phone while making dinner (and the kids are in full frenzy because Daddy just got home) is an unnecessary burden.

2-”Let us run with endurance.” Endurance comes with training and preparation. How can I better prepare for my evening race? Find the time, take the time, make the time to plan dinner before 5pm, way before. This makes a huge difference when I have done it. Do it more. Make sure what I need is thawed, and that I have all the ingredients. Make double batches (at least) of family favorites, and freeze them! Duh. I can do this with spaghetti sauce, what else?

3-”Looking unto Jesus.” I need 4pm prayer. Silence, and coffee, tea, or wine depending on the day. Maybe a little bread or crackers. A sort of communion. My private happy hour.

Pray for myself and my family and for the peace of God, that goes beyond human understanding. “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Phillipians 4:6-7) “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace—as in all the congregations of the Lord’s people.” (1 Corinthians 14:33) I am the Lord’s people. Help me to act like it.

I feel better already. As I observe happy hour with Jesus, may He adorn me “with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” (1 Peter 3:4) – an inner stillness, unaffected by motion, that I can carry with poise to conquer the chaos.

 


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