Staring into the Flames

Stop. Be still. Sit down. Take a deep breath. Just relax.

It’s easier said than done especially when I feel the urgency of the needs around me, or can’t escape the calendar filled with church and ministry activities, work, kids’ appointments, fundraising, homework, and on and on…

Lately I feel crushed as each day seems to step over me in its rush to get to the next. Thankfulness is always the first thing that goes because I simply run out of time to savor the moments, drink them in, and thank the God who gave them to me.  It’s never one big thing but the addition of one little thing after another little thing that leaves me so tired. Frustration creeps in as I think of where I want to be and feel that I just can’t muster the strength to get there.

I didn’t notice how worn out I really was until last weekend. My parents came to visit for a week and we enjoyed every minute with them. A highlight was a trip to the beach for a few days. We built a bonfire on the beach and I realized how much my head was longing to feel empty.

On any given day my head is filled with questions, self-evaluations, and suggestions for improvement. Maybe it’s the curse of the analytical, but regardless, I was long overdue for a good head-emptying. I needed to just sit and stare at the flames, and listen to the ocean, and watch the stars reach down.

Rest is a discipline…I am learning this. There is a discipline in sitting still and just letting things be for an hour or two. God Himself calls us to rest, to reflect, and lay it all down. We need the perspective, and we need to remember it’s not about us after all. We are just small players in a big story…one that spans ages, and nations, and all people.

When I focus on my own little storyline, my own little part, it’s hard to just stop and relax. When I refuse to be still, I am the one who loses. But, when I reflect on God’s greater story I have the opportunity to give thanks, to feel small, and to simply stare into the flames.

4 Responses to Staring into the Flames

  1. “When I refuse to be still, I am the one who loses. But, when I reflect on God’s greater story I have the opportunity to give thanks, to feel small, and to simply stare into the flames.”…Well said, I need to remember this well. Thanks for sharing your heart to challenge us all.

  2. You are in a stressful time of life – many responsibilities with children, family, ministry, church, etc. It’s hard to cultivate the perspective of rest and waiting. You are wise to see the need. I well remember the sense of being like a spinning top, going from one crazy place to another, and wondering where the time went and why I didn’t get more done. I’m glad you had this moment on the beach and I pray that you find many more in the midst of your day to day tasks. Love you so much!

  3. Excellent blog! Well said–todos. I like the way you give your personal examples, things I can visualize, and then what you have learned. And, all this without sounding preachy. This reminds me of our MTI teaching on Sabbath, which was one of my favorites. I can still recall the walk I took and the place I perched along the trail to write.

  4. Danielle-I pray you are able to have more moments of rest and reflection in the coming weeks. Love you girl!

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