Active and Distracted
Evie Kalvelage of Independence, MO, USA
Be still and know that I am God. -Psalms 46:10
Why is being still so difficult? Why does meditation feel impossible? Why do I fight doing nothing? What could be simpler?
I recently decided to try daily meditation. I started with three minutes. I can’t seem to clear my mind even for that short time. I’ve tried several mantras, and yoga has helped a bit. I breathe in deeply and listen to my breath. I breathe out and say, “Jesus, I trust you” (something else I struggle with mightily). I try to fill my mind with my favorite image of Christ. Tears well as thoughts sneak in to push His image away. My to-do list looms. Random thoughts won’t stay away. I feel like such a disappointment to myself and my God.
Prayer makes my mind active. Reading devotions distracts my attention with new ideas. I know God appreciates those efforts, but I fail miserably when I’m commanded to “be still and know that I am God.” I realize I like my mind active and distracted. It allows me to hide from something-what, I don’t know. What am I afraid of? What will happen if I find that empty space where God can talk to me?
I do sense God communicating with me in small whispers daily. He helps me find things and lets me know how much He loves me with many treasures along my path, big and small. I pray for strength and peace. He delivers, but it seems I can only capture those moments on the fly.
I’m up to five minutes of trying to be still. The time passes quickly even though I struggle. I fight the urge to check the timer. I dread the effort it takes to push thoughts away and create a space for God. I will keep trying, knowing God is patient and blesses my efforts. One day, I will shed my desire to be constantly active and distracted. I’ll answer the call to “be still and know that I am God.”
The kingdom of God is among you (Luke 17:21).
Ordinary Time is a season for waking up to what is already here, to the kingdom of God already among us. Spend time each day breathing in the presence of God wherever you are. Notice how simple interactions, tasks, and relationships are sacred opportunities to share and receive God’s love, justice, and peace. Pay attention to the sacred quality of everyday, ordinary life. How is the kingdom of God seeking to be embodied through you each day?
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.