BE STILL…….. By Olamide Balogun
Still, as a noun means deep silence and calm, not moving or making a sound. This is as much and outward as it is an outward manifestation. In the manual for living, Almighty gives the instruction to ‘Be Still’. ‘Be’ is defined as existing in that state and staying in that condition.
So Almighty says we should stay in a state of deep silence and calm. What does this really mean? What it does not mean is that we should not move or speak and vegetate on the couch.
When you hear something strange, you usually stop and listen before you carry on. I believe there are many of us that Almighty has been trying to reach for a while and we are just so busy. He wants you to stop a while and listen out for Him. He does not shout over the noise of the world ( and to be honest we can all bear witness to the fact that the world is really loud). Just to digress there is a new program where people go on first dates , undress each other at the beginning of the date and all subsequent dates are naked. I hope I have got that right but I know they go on dates naked. This is an example of how loud the world has become. How desperate must the people who undress when they go on dates be? Is the money that good? The cameramen and even the moderator are fully clothed.)
Just to digress there is a new program where people go on first dates , undress each other (to complete nakedness) at the beginning of the date and all subsequent dates are naked ones. I hope I have got that right but I know they go on dates naked. This is an example of how loud the world has become. How desperate must these people be? What do they really stand to gain?Is the money that good? The cameramen and even the moderator are fully clothed in the mean time. Can they not see they are just being used to satisfy a perverse world?
Being still is, therefore, stopping to get clarification. Not just making up your mind based on unclear, biased information.
‘Be still’,following on from the above could be taking stock of your surrounding and your life. This time, you have not been startled by a strange noise or anything like that. Since ‘be’ is defined as existing in a state of calm, you really should constantly take stock of your life and all that is going on around you. Live deliberately. When you do, you may see clearly that what you think is undesirable, is actually good because Almighty assures us that all things work together for our good.
When you are ‘still’ in this way, you recognise the things that you should be grateful for and don’t only see the things that are wrong. When you quietly and calmly (not showing or feeling nervousness, anger, or other strong emotions) take stock you can tell those who are for you and those who are actually against you. You can tell the direction you should take as opposed to the popular direction. You can tell what actions show you to be a fool and which actions validate you intellect.
‘Be still, could be that it is time to remove distractions. When I knew I was going to write this piece, I got up the courage to tell a few people on my WhatsApp contact list, not to send me any more daily devotionals. There is only so many devotionals a person can read in a day. The whole social media scene is so distracting. I am thinking of deleting my email addresses because I can’t seem to keep up with deleting mail that makes no sense and unsubscribing myself from newsletters that I never subscribed to in the first place. (Just between us, I feel when I unsubscribe they pass my email address on to someone else who send me more rubbish)
We need to put off distractions. These come in all shapes and sizes. A distraction is a thing that prevents us from concentrating on things of importance ( assuming we know what is important in the first place). These distractions can cause us great agitation of the mind, spirit and soul.
We also should not be distractions to others. For example, getting involved in someone else’s relationship issues may be distracting them. (Hmmm I was just about to invite my niece’s ex to a party I know she will be attending, just to see if they can work things out. This is with the knowledge that after she specifically told me she was building herself up after the breakup and finally getting her act together. I think maybe I better not be a distraction.)
Be still, could be that it is time to get quiet and think. This is not about distractions. Many of us don’t think. Being calm and quiet will help us recognize that in many instances we are not progressing and we don’t have a full life even though we have all the trapping of one. Thinking lets us understand what true progress is and what it is not. This is a topic for another day. What is progress for each one of us differs and changes so I better not be running your own race, not so?
In quietness and calm, you are likely to hear instructions that make you creative. It is in this same calm that you will hear the Almighty tell you how to implement the new ideas ( or as we like to say…. you will figure out the next steps).
When and where should you be still? Everywhere and anywhere. What does ‘be still’look like at the office? Focus on your work and cultivate listening to instructions. You ‘think’ and so you just know how to find out what will make you excel at your job and then you do it. (Just a tip, doing only what you have been asked to do excellently is not enough. It is a good start but going over and above and beyond the call of duty is what gets you into a leadership position.) When you are still, You don’t get involved with office politics or the office grapevine. You are punctual and diligent. The list is endless.
Surely I can be these things if I am not still. Only to a certain extent, then you will tend to rush off to do your own thing or worse, you rush off, chasing a distraction.
The color of being still at home is just fostering a peaceful environment where everything thrives.To start off with, home is not cluttered with ‘stuff’. Psychologists say we cannot thrive in the midst of clutter and chaos. You, not throwing all your stuff all over the place is being still.
Home does not have to be a palace filled with servants and possessions for it to be an ideal home. Be still at home is being calm such that all who come there are at peace and happy to be there.
Those at home can count on you to hold their hands when they need hand holding, to go that extra mile for them no matter what. To have a listening ear from time to time. If you are married , your spouse feels safe with you, that includes keeping their issues between the two of you. I am not saying you can’t discuss your issues with third parties but be careful who this third party is and what you discuss. All concerned at home being sure you have their back.
All concerned at home being sure you have their back.The thought of your stillness at home just brings joy to all. People don’t run and hide when you come through the front door.
‘Be still” among friends is being a dependable friend who can always be counted on. This is not gossipping with other people about your friend and divulging all you know about him to whoever is interested. Not judging your friend because of what you think you know about them.Not putting pressure on the relationship always recounting how you are such a great friend. Not being a needy friend who is so high maintenance that you make everybody sick with jumping through hoops for you. Not being a manipulative person who must always have his way.
Being still as a friend is knowing when to talk ( and to be brutally honest) and when to sit in silence with your friend. Knowing when you are needed and when you should go home and not be a distraction.
Be still at church is you not breaking the church up because of your opinions and you not having a bad attitude when your suggestions are not taken and implemented. (I hope this is not me. It can be difficult to be still when you think you know it all. Lord have mercy)
In church, you need to help as best as you can and if you can’t be a help, allow those who can and you don’t be a stumbling block (distraction). Be at peace with all (actually this is everywhere not just church). Pay your tithes and don’t argue whether or not tithes are still relevant or that was the old testament times. Who do you think pays for the toilet paper and the cleaning? Give offering because as sure as gravity is real, you receive when you give. This is the basest reason.
How do you measure how still you are? What impact are you making? From the above, you can see that being still makes you a dependable person, who is making an impact everywhere they go. The impact here is in a positive way. The person still makes an impact without that being the primary focus. So at work, you are making an impact but all you are really doing is going over and above and beyond the call of duty.
How stressed out are you feeling? How overwhelmed with life are you feeling. Are you feeling that all your plans are unraveling and you are not achieving your goals?
To be still, you need to get over yourself and let things go. Those who you think have hurt you, you need to forgive them. You need to remove physical clutter and psychological clutter. There things that have happened that no matter what you do, cannot be changed. You need to let it go. If you don’t you may end up running around in circles chasing your owntail.
Deliberately reduce your activity. Pareto principle in this example would be that only 20% of your activity is yielding the best of what you have at work, in your relationships, at home, and in your church. The other 80% is just raising dust.
I met a lady once who did not have a 9 to 5 job and so she was doing like 15 things just to make ends meet. I am sure you are not surprised when I tell you that she never made any money and she was frazzled to bits. She needed to be still and focus.
You have to get linked to Almighty and trust that He is the one working His purpose out in your life. obviously it is not the person who dashes about who succeeds, it is the Almighty who shows mercy and allows all that we do to be impactful.
Is it easy to be still? It is definitely easier said than done. Almighty is the epitome of integrity. Whatever He says is what happens and He says when you are still, completely quiet and calm, He will come out in full force to back you up for the highest impact. There is, therefore, no need to try to do things in our own power.
In calm and quietness, you can ask Almighty direct questions and you will get direct answers.
Like I said at the beginning, ‘Be Still’ is not about being laid back or being a couch potato.
I have so much to learn from this post, In the midst of all the brouhaha, that is living , we must be silent and calm, confident that Almighty has a handle on our lives despite and in spite of all we see. He says He has thoughts of us and they are good thoughts that will get us to our expected end.
Last week, a young lady I know got very upset about something someone said to her and she broke stuff and was in a huff for a few days. When she calmed down, she realised what she thought she heard was not what was said so all her tantrum was not necessary and very misplaced, However, the stuff she broke remains broken and even though we can say she will acquire other things along the journey of life she absolutely did not have to break them.
Stay quiet and calm as this year starts. As you take stock and i think it is good to take stock. This year holds a lot for us , be still and positioned to receive all the good things the year promises and also positioned to take anything not so good, knowing all things work for our good.
Olamide Balogun is a leader, mentor and an extraordinary healthy living enthusiast. She is the founder of Awaken Lifestyle.