I never really understood what it meant to “stop and smell the roses.” I figured I could get a whiff of the flowers as I ran by them if I was inclined to do that. I grew up hearing that I needed to wait, to be patient, and that I “did things too fast.” If it was not worth doing quickly, it was not worth doing. As I have gotten older, I see what the big deal is. There is so much that I ran past in between sports, hanging out with friends, and living my life.
I go for regular walks in a Nature Preserve named For Mar. It is just some trails that loop around. It has a river that runs through it, a couple of small ponds, and half of it is covered with trees. The very first day that I went there I saw a deer! Now, where I grew up I saw deer all the time, but I live in FLINT, MI. I did not expect to see a deer in this small spot of green right outside of the city. I spend time in the forest walking, thinking, and talking with God. It sounds corny, but it has taken my walk to the next level!
One thing that I was told as a kid, that of course I never listened to, was that I needed to slow down and just watch. I have been giving it a try. If I wait for just a few seconds, the forest comes alive. I can hear birds, chipmunks skitter on logs, and I notice things I never would have seen if I had kept walking. Beside the pond, if I wait long enough, I can hear frogs. The fish and turtles surface at the pond if I watch long enough. Maybe that does not impress you, but I think you are smart enough to get the point: I get a different picture if I stand still and wait.
Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God.” A Pastor once preached that most of us are not praying the right way. “We do all the talking, and none of the listening,” he said. Consider that inside of every saved person is a part of God Himself. The Holy Spirit is with you at all times, and His ministry is YOU! God tells us to be still. Just as I had seen a new part of For Mar when I took a minute to stand still and be quiet, I can find a new level to my prayer life if I am still and quiet. I confess my sins, thank the Lord for the good things in my life, and tell Him what my problems are, and then I wait. God does not speak to me in an audible voice or spell out a message in the leaves, but I promise you He speaks to me! I have found help on some serious problems by simply letting God have a turn talking.
You may not get this now. I know I did not. You may not get it even in college! Tuck this truth away in your mind: Be still. It is not like you are a kid again and you are in time out, but if you choose to give God a minute then you are offered something more for being patient. “Be still, and know that I am God.”
Assistant Pastor | Lighthouse Baptist Church, Flint, Mi