Learning to Turn the Switch Off

“Randi, what is God stirring in your heart lately?”  

The question  hit me hard.  I’ve heard this kind of question before, I’ve even been asked it before but it was like I was asked this for the first time. The conversation continued.  “That’s a good question.  I’m not really sure.”  Blah Blah Blah…I kept going.  But inside it was as if something had come to a complete halt.  I have no idea the answer to this question. My mouth was feeding out words but my mind was paralyzed by the question.  After a while I finished my conversation.  I was talking to one of the pastors from my church.  I thanked him for the great conversation and the time he spent visiting with me and went on my way still scratching my head.

Fast forward.

I’m sitting outside.  The summer sun and warm breeze feel so good on my face.  But I’m struggling to sit still; fighting to experience the gift of summer because my mind is fuzzy and flurried. For the first time in a long time I am at a sort of cross-road in my life.  The last several years have been filled with unforseen changes, twists and turns.  Something would happen, I responded.  Something changed, I changed.  A need was presented, I did my best to meet the need.  It was a steady stream.  I often didn’t really think I just did.

Now I have some space. (At least for the moment.)  I don’t know what to do with space.  It’s uncomfortable. It exposes me.  I hate to admit it but I’m realizing that I am an anxious person.  Not anxious in the worry-wart sort of way but rather in the way that is always on a mental and emotional treadmill.  My mind doesn’t stop pondering, considering, troubleshooting, obsessing and rehearsing. It is constantly full of things.  

Things I need to do.  Things I should do.  Things I want to do.  Things.

Now I think having things on the brain is generally a good thing.  But I am beginning to see I’ve taken it to an extreme.  When I can’t respond to a question about what God is stirring in me, or enjoy the beauty of a summer day, something is out of wack.  I seem to be able to think about everything, always and yet not be able to think about nothing or not be able to know what I think.

I occasionally help to bring leadership to my church services.  Last weekend I helped out.  I shared Psalm 46:10 where God says, “Be still and know that I am God.”  I reminded people that God invites us to still ourselves because He wants us to know Him.  And knowing Him comes through being still enough to hear and see Him.

Yea, so I think I need to take my own advise.

This being still thing is not easy.  By nature I feel better about myself when I’m doing something. Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not talking about laziness, apathy or inactivity.  It’s more of an inner discontent or anxiousness that is bubbling beneath my surface.  Like something has to happen, be fixed or get done. This is the part of me that isn’t still.  I think this is why my brain is always in gear and doesn’t allow me to enjoy moments easily.

The last few years have turned a switch on inside of me that is stuck in the “on” position.

Now I think it’s time I learn to turn the switch off.

I’m not good with mechanical things….I hope I can figure this out.  

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2 comments

  1. randi, i think that being still is a daunting undertaking. good for you for wrestling this question out. you are at a cross roads in life, a transition, things take some attention in these places – our souls require attention.
    go for a walk – just for the sake of the walk.
    love you
    r

    1. Thanks for your wisdom Ruth. It’s good to be reminded that we sometimes need to “wrestle things out”…..I want you to know I did walk outside just today as your little voice was in the back of my head telling me to do so!

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