be still

So this past weekend, my family and I were having a movie night and the selected picture was the new The Karate Kid with Will Smith’s son. I must say I was surprised by how good the movie was, but there was a surprising moment in the movie where I found myself seeing beyond the words and the movie. This particular part of the movie, the young Kung Fu novice is taken by the teacher to very spiritual place in the mountains where the young man happens upon a woman performing Kung Fu skills on a ledge with a cobra. This action catches the student’s eye because it was though the woman was mimicking the cobra, but when asked, the teacher responded that the snake was being manipulated by the woman’s focus and stillness. The student was astounded that the woman could control the snake by seemingly doing nothing to which the teacher responded that “to do nothing and to be still are two completely different things.” The teacher continued by saying that it was only when the woman was completely focused and still did the snake begin to follow her actions.

This may be a stretch for some of you but stay with me for the next few minutes because I kind of had an “AHA” moment during this portion of the movie. It occurred to me that this is just the focus I need in my life. Psalm 46:10a states, “be still and know that I am God..” Very recently, this verse has been on my mind more and more, but I fought with this idea of being still because I equated it with doing nothing. You know when you are younger and your parents say “be still” it means you better not even consider moving a muscle – that’s the picture I had in my head. As I have gotten older, I have developed this need to at least feel productive in some sort or fashion and being still seemed counter-productive. So, I had problems with this idea of being still. But “be still and know that I am God” is a command and one that had been on my mind a great deal recently so I face a dilemma.

Until during this movie about karate, somehow this scene made this verse make sense to me. Being still no longer meant doing nothing but comes from this intense focus and deep peace. It was not until the woman became completely still and focused did the cobra begin to mimic her movements. In my life of trying to be the woman God teaches me to be, I cannot make my movements match those of Christ without becoming completely still and deeply focused. This makes so much more sense to me – hence the “aha” moment. Does this make sense to anyone else? We must focus on God – you want things to change in your life you must focus on God.

I don’t know if this is an elementary thing for everyone else, and I am just a little slow but this is so encouraging to me. In my world, there is very little time to be still – we seem to be always going, something seems to always be going on, and some of the people in my life believe themselves to be the redneck version of the Barrymore family thus it is their mission to bring drama to our lives. So when everything is crazy which is every day, I adore this idea of having Someone to focus on and this Someone gives you peace that passes all understanding. I don’t know about you but even as I am writing this and putting these thoughts together, I am relieved. This relief comes from the second part of this verse – “know that I am God.” With that statement comes the knowledge that HE IS GOD! There is nothing bigger or better or more loving or more trustworthy! That is simply astounding to me.

Its as though God is comforting me saying, “Focus, have peace and remember who I AM!”



It seems to that recently I have been to the funeral home much more than usual which is quite a bit considering I work/live in a florist and funerals are an inevitable aspect of selling flowers.  I have been involved in the florist world for about two and half years and in doing so you become apt at distancing yourself from the painful aspects of a funeral and concentrate on producing the best arrangements you can.  However, all of this goes out the window when the call comes into the florist for someone you know and much more so when you were friends with the deceased.  I know this sounds so incredibly morbid and horribly cold, but if you dwell on where the majority of the flower arrangements go then you will become severely depressed. 

Anyways, back to the point of this blog - last week a very good friend of mine was killed in a work-related accident.  He was a year-to-the-date older than me which when he was dating my best friend in high school really irked me.  Hello, it was my birthday too!  Him, his brother Eric, me, my sisters, my best friend - Tosha, and her sisters made up much of the youth group, and in a way we became family.  Much of the time that we were not in school, we all spent together which led to just as much fighting and arguing as hugging.  So much of my high school experience is filled with memories of these people.  We were the type of friends that we could fight and argue one minute and be making up the next - but just like many other stories, time moved on, we grew up, went our seperate ways, and lost touch.   One fact that I must say I am sorry to admit because getting the phone call that he had been killed was very much like getting punched in the gut.  You always say that one day you are all going to get together again and catch up, and then something happens and getting all the group together is no longer possible. 

Its these kinds of things - when someone so young is taken from this world so unexpectedly - that I have a problem understanding and finding peace with.  I know in my head that no matter what God is good and has a plan; however, that's really difficult to come to tell my heart during these times.  It just does not make sense at all to me, and it really breaks my heart in a way that words that can't express.  Not only for that lost connection but my heart breaks for the family who are on the front line of this battle to find peace in the situation.

It is during these times that I must seek God's presence and completely rely on His strength because my own has never and will never hold up under the extreme pressure of dark days that threaten to take you under.  I find myself re-reading some of the same verses - some of which I will share with you.

"But He said to me, my grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness.  Therefor, I will boast all the more gladly of weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities.  For when I am weak, then I am strong." ~2 Corinthians 12:9-10

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding.  But in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths." ~ Proverbs 3:5-6