Stop whatever you’re doing. I’m serious. Right now. Minimize your other programs, close your other tabs, pause your music, hang up the phone, and tell anyone you’re talking to that you’ll BRB. I’ll wait for you.
Back? Great - you’re not done. Now I’ll need your full attention. (Yes, it’s that important, and it will only take a few minutes.) Put aside all the random thoughts that happen to be floating through your head. Write them down if it helps or if you need to remember something. Once you’ve cleared everything out of your mind, take a deep breath, hold it, and slowly exhale.
Most of you didn’t do any of the things I just asked you to do. Go back and do it. There’s a point here, but don’t think about what it might be. Clear your mind completely and focus only on what you’re reading right now. Take a minute and pause like that. Go on, I’ll wait.
“Alright, what’s the point?” I can almost hear you asking. Actually, I didn’t have you do that so I could make a point (well, not entirely). I had you do that as practice. It’s not something you do too often, is it? Our 21st-century culture is obsessed with multitasking. We are constantly attempting to do as much as we can at the same time. We’re constantly connected to everyone we know, accessible to anyone at any time, and have a million things running through our minds. Our attention is scattered into a million pieces practically all the time. Most of us have forgotten how to slow down. We’ve gotten quite good at multitasking, but we’ve forgotten how to single-task. Please stay with me here - ignore that new notification, and for Pete’s sake don’t check your email - and turn your full attention to the next point.
Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.
– Psalm 46:10
Wow. Most of us have seen this before, but we probably skimmed over it. “‘Be still and know I am God’ - yep, He’s God and I know it. Moving on…” And we just zipped right past the point. Be still! Take the time to set everything else aside, and just bask in the knowledge that He is God, and the full implications of that undeniable fact. How often do we really do that? Probably not enough.
This is something God’s been hammering into me lately. I’m always doing something or thinking about something. Occassionally I need to stop and just be with God - not doing anything, just being. After all, we’re made in the image of the God who says of himself, “I AM.” Shouldn’t we also “be?” After all, as the saying goes, we’re human beings, not human doings. For me, at least, these rare times of just being are also times of breakthrough. Sometimes God will have something to show me. Sometimes it’s just the act of being still and resting in the knowledge that “HE IS” that does more good than any words could ever do.
I believe one of Satan’s most successful tactics in 21st-century America is distraction. If he can throw enough stuff at us, we won’t have time or attention left to focus on the one thing that really matters. If a major purpose of our corporate worship time is warfare, shouldn’t we make it a point to counter this attack specifically? Too often our worship looks like a few songs in quick succession - us talking to God. Instead, we should take time without singing or even without music and just BE in His presence. Maybe then we’ll hear what God wants to say to us. Maybe we won’t - maybe He just wants us to be still and know He is God.
I don’t know what will happen, but I don’t see what we have to lose, besides a few minutes of time. You can go back to your distractions now if you want, but hopefully you’ll think about this in the future and make it a habit. If you didn’t actually do the exercise, go right now to somewhere with no distractions and try it - focus completely on God. I doubt you’ll regret taking the time, and if you do you can yell at me in the comments.