perhaps our preoccupation with speed and noise, schedules and strategies are the outward expressions of our restlessness and unease.
Teach us now to be still that we might know you.
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult.
Come, behold the works of the Lord; see what desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire.”
Be still, and know that I am God!
(Psalm 46: 1-3, 8-10a)
In her poem entitled, Self-Improvement Program, Judith Viorst recites all the new activities she has taken on in an effort to become successful—needlework, guitar lessons, advanced Chinese cooking, primal scream therapy—and dozens of other things. And then with a sigh she concludes, “And I am working all day and I am working all night to be good looking, healthy and wise and adored and contented and brave and well-read and a marvellous hostess and bilingual, athletic, artistic—and then she cries out, “Won’t someone please stop me?”
The desert is a place to slow down, stop and ‘be still’. This does not happen immediately if we have been running at a great pace. This does not happen easily as society often grades us on the basis of what we do, how much we achieve and according to key performance indicators.
The invitation to stillness is a wonderful gift. The Psalmist infers that stillness is valuable not only for the rest and freedom it offers but for the time and space it creates to know God’s strength, God’s help, God’s presence, God’s protection or simply, to know God.
Reflect on the pace of your life. Who is setting it?
Write to God about your timetable and ask God to help you live out of a centered and satisfying dynamic.
Selecting a Souvenir
Slow us down Lord.
Still the inner momentum that drives us to perform and parade.
Still the fury and fears of our warring world.
Still us that in peace and quietness, we may truly come to know that you are God. Amen.
God of work and rest.
God of order and rhythm.
Send us forward and grace us with the gifts that we see in Jesus:
Composure, poise, beauty and serenity.
Copyright © 2007 Geoff Pound Making Life Decisions
 Judith Viorst, How Did I get to be Forty & Other Atrocities (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1973), 40.