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!”

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