“Listen to this, O Job; Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God.” Job 37:14
It is easy to miss what God has put right in front of us, and sometimes it is due to our being “busier than a bee in a tar bucket,” as the saying goes.
Many a parent has asked their child “Can’t you just sit still for a minute?” When I was too active, my mother would ask “Who put a nickel into you?” As if I was a low-cost perpetual motion machine.
We can easily get caught up in too much busyness and activity, thoughts racing through our minds like ping pong balls in a tornado, as we try to multi-task with 100 browsers open at once. As we live our busy lives, we need to slow down and take time to focus on who God is and what he has done.
Psalm 46:10 encourages us to “Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
One way to “be still” and consider the “wondrous works of God” is to consider the earth itself. Reminds me of the story of two scientists, one an evolutionist, the other a creationist. The evolutionist visited the creationist at his office. There was a beautiful globe on a shiny brass stand in the corner. The evolutionist said “What a beautiful globe! Where did you get it?” The creationist replied “I didn’t get it anywhere. Through random chance and eons of time, it simply evolved and ended up in the corner.”
The evolutionist said “That’s ridiculous! Of course, someone made it. Just look at all the specific information it has- the names of countries and oceans, longitude, latitude, brilliant colors, topographic features, and the beautifully polished brass stand. It has clearly been crafted by someone — it had to have a cause!”
The creationist said “My point exactly. If random chance and eons of time couldn’t make a globe on a stand in the corner of my office, how could it make the real globe, the earth?”
Another burning question to consider “Are you investing your time, or just spending it?” Henry David Thoreau said. “It is not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: what are we busy about? “ Moss Hart adds “All the mistakes I ever made in my life were when I wanted to say No, and said Yes.”
How easy it is to add just one more thing to our already overcrowded plates, because “the committee asked me” or “if I don’t do it, who will?” When I put too much food on my plate, my mother would say “Joseph, you need sideboards!” (She called me by middle name, because when she said “Guy”, I …didn’t listen, or …something.)
Finding a balance between being a good steward of our most limited resource, time, and “getting everything done” can be quite challenging. Like the song says, “slow down, you move too fast; you’ve got to make the morning last.”
The Bible encourages us to slow down and enjoy our life journey. Melodious (or in my case, not so melodious) singing borne of joyful thanksgiving is one way to “redeem the time.” Ephesians 5:19-20 encourages us to be “speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Similarly, add love and purpose to everything you do. Colossians 3:14-17 tells us “But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”
• Guy Crockroft is executive director of Love Inc Juneau. ”Living & Growing” is a weekly column written by different authors and submitted by local clergy and spiritual leaders. It appears every Friday on the Juneau Empire’s Faith page.