Saturday. He leaves for his man breakfast, and a solitude of stillness settles here.
Treasures these are, such Saturday morns, and I stretch them long as they will reach, through coffee steam clouds casting filmy shadows over pages of print or blank whiteness. The morning bird sings today’s brief song selection outside the window, then fades off, and I am left with gentle thoughts and deep.
But today the coming week keeps calling, like rude salesman, competing with the now of silence, reminding me this very room in which I wish to sit all wistful must be partially dismembered and fully rearranged, brief (three-day) home for two adults, one little child.
And beyond it wait the other rooms, one the kitchen, wanting mixing and preparing done ahead, preventing robbery of family time so rare.
Do still, or do busy?
Or, do both? Brother Lawrence could: stilled himself in a sort of solitude with God even while busied in the kitchen, pelted with calls for this and that from multiple mouths around him. Tersteegan could, even amid the crowds jostling in streets or jamming through his doors.
I’m no good at this. But is it about me? Isn’t my Lord, God, and Helper the One who stills the churning waves, who speaks peace among the milling multitudes?
Can I not, by His own power, do one and then the other? Still, then move—one small steady silent movement toward some meager task’s completion? And always, when the agitation starts to rise inside the head and chest, and arms and neck tense up, can I not slow and stop and still, be each stilling but five minute byte? And then, eventually, may I not do both at once, still within, employed without?
Times like this I am most tempted to assess a day a wasted twenty-four if I’ve not checked off items on a list: accomplished, check, accomplished, check. But I remember Tozer telling how the godly men of old called wasted any day that hadn’t held some time of stilling alone with Him.
I have the alone this morning. The stilling comes from making practice of it and looking to its Author.
Stilling in gentle doing.
Doing gently stilled.