I am a creature of habit. But with this new, upcoming retirement thing, I’m going to experience change in my life that is oh so different than any I’ve ever experienced before. I need to know how to deal with this. I need to prepare my heart.
For instance, a couple of weeks ago, I had a preview of what my mornings would be like in retirement. I had the whole week off, with mornings free. I was having my normal time in God’s word and prayer. An odd thing happened as I neared the end of my 2nd cup of coffee. I noticed a little knot forming in the pit of my stomach. A small hard rock of anxiety.
What on earth?
There was no reason for me to be anxious. I wasn’t working. I had the whole week off! But my brain associated the end of my coffee, with time to Go! Time to get ready for work, hop in the car and Drive at supersonic speeds to beat the traffic and get to work on time! RUSH RUSH RUSH! I was anxious, because it was “time” and here I was lollygagging over God’s word (Oh! The joys of lollygagging over scripture!).
My poor brain will need to be re-trained!
[tweetthis]I’ll need to learn to stop doing all the time, and just be. What does that look like?[/tweetthis]
Our grand-dog came over later in the week for me to pup-sit. It was just me and Romo, sitting on the back porch. So, of course I asked him – don’t judge, if you had a grandpup as cute and smart as mine, you would talk to him, too.
“Romo, how does one just be, and not DO all the time?”
He glanced at me for a second or two, then went back to his important task of just being. I watched him. Romo didn’t feel the need to jump up just because he heard my voice. He knew I would nudge him if it was time to go in. He didn’t move when a bird flew past, or another dog barked in the neighborhood. He just sat, watched, and listened to the sights and sounds of this new world of his.
Imagine that. Being still and observing the world around me. Not worrying about being productive or doing more. Just sitting. Hanging out with my Master.
You know what? I’m pretty sure I can do that, with a little work.
I just have to let my brain know that it’s okay. No worries. Sit a spell. Relax. Lollygag over the Word. Not to mention that second cuppa. Move from the “doing” of a Martha, to the “being” of a Mary. Teaching my brain that it’s okay to sit quietly before God.
Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. Psalm 62:5 (NLT)
How do you switch from doing to being? Leave a comment, I’d love to hear your ideas – no, I NEED your ideas!
Grace be with you,
Sabra Penley says
Ellen, this theme has been constantly in front of me this week! Just this morning in my reading in Streams in the Desert, it was about being still before God and really hearing His gentle voice. This is what I wrote in response: “Lord, it is so easy to hear all the voices in my head, just as A.B. Simpson described. Let me know Your gentle whisper and hear it above all the noise in my head. Pierce through it all so that Your voice is all I hear clearly. Help me learn to be still, Lord…to listen to You alone…and know that You are God.”
So as you can see, being still and just enjoying time with Him is something I desire, too. Those voices in my head are always nagging me to “get busy.” And I need to learn to silence them. And just enjoy sweet fellowship with my Lord!
Blessings to you, sweet friend. I pray that your retirement will bring about wonderful moments with Him and abundant joy, peace, and rest!
Oh, Sabra, how true!
And I do long to just be still and not rush through my quiet time with the Lord. I haven’t had that luxury for a while. I’ve tried to work around it, with the seasons in my life, but its just time to be and not do!
Love you friend!
It helps to remember that in the end, all the rush and busyness doesn’t matter all that much; what’s really important would get done eventually, so I can take the moment I need to be still and know God. We’re supposed to experience time, not be slaves to it. Thanks for this post, Ellen. Blessings to you.
So true Boma – I love this: we are supposed to EXPERIENCE time, not be a slave to it! Good word!
I like how you said the Master would let us know when it was time to go. That’s what I need to remember (like every single minute!) I don’t have to be doing until my Master tells me it’s time and any doing I do before then, probably only takes away from the energy I have to do when He says it’s time! Also, I have a hard time imagining you driving breakneck and fighting traffic!!
Oh, Liz, I have become quite the aggressive driver getting to work – and, more important – getting HOME! Yes, we need to be intent on listening to His still, small voice telling us when it’s time to do! Thanks for stopping by, sweet friend!
Ellen, here are a few tips I’ve found that come in handy: Do not let this quiet time be interrupted! Never get on your phone or computer to check things like emails or Face Book before your quiet time. Your brain will never fully get back to ‘quiet’ mode if you do. If your phone is on, turn it to silent.
If you subscribe to a morning paper, do not read it before your quiet time with the Lord. Do not turn on the television for the news or a weather update, unless we have a hurricane bearing down on us. Any news that you watch or read will certainly disquiet your brain.
Have a notepad and pencil at the ready. Things will come to mind that you need to get done that day, or need to add to your grocery list, etc. Write those things down, then put your thoughts back onto the Lord and His Word. You won’t have to concern yourself with forgetting to do those things later on
I really enjoyed your blog today. And I’m glad that you are learning how to enjoy just ‘being.’
Great tips Cathy! Thanks for sharing!