The War on Stillness

Remember those days when we would play cops and robbers with siblings and friends, acting out what we saw on TV, and someone would “shoot” someone dead?  I’d be the shootee.  I used to love playing dead!  *emphasis on “playing”*

I also used to like to fake sleep when I was a kid.  Alas, I fooled no-one but myself!  Didn’t matter; I loved the controlling of my breathing (or so I thought) and removing myself mentally and physically from activity.

Fast forward a gazillion years.  I’m in yoga class. What pose do I look forward to?  Corpse pose. No, I’m not trying to be morbid.  It’s just that after contorting myself like Houdini for 50 minutes, lying limp like a beat-up rag doll and breathing deeply for two minutes is oh so very welcome!  

For most of us, a life lived in “corpse pose” is unbridled luxury.  Other than sleep, two mandatory minutes of stillness seem excessive, like investing in an overly-priced outfit that you might only wear twice in life, at best.  

But is it really excessive?  Why?

I swear there’s a war on stillness.  You almost have to pencil in “stillness” into your schedule or to-do list in order to accomplish it.  What’s up with that?

Humans innately crave periods of stillness.  I’m not talking sleep here.  I’m talking about that quiet time, often early in the morning or late at night, when you can uncrumple yourself from the tightly-knit ball of tin foil that all of the day’s demands have shaped you into and literally let God have His way with your spirit.  

Regroup.  Recalibrate.  Refresh.  Rebound.  Restore.

We can blame society’s mad pace or even the devil for stealing this precious gift of being still.  Personally, I have to man up to the truth:  I don’t have to do all that I do.  I choose to cave in to the distractions.  By making the choice to be busy, no matter how productive or beneficial that busyness may be, I forfeit stillness.  And I pay the price.

The Bible talks about the consequences of being still … or not.  Check out Isaiah 30:15 (The Message):

Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on Me, the very thing you’ve been unwilling to do.  You’ve said, “Nothing doing!  We’ll rush off on horseback!”  You’ll rush off, all right!  Just not far enough!


In the midst of what I like to call the “silly season”, these six weeks of holiday-related merriment and madness, can we carve out that stillness that our spirits crave?  How radical would that be?

How do you win the war on stillness?


  1. My stillness is lying in a hot bath. Alone with my thoughts. Thank you for linking up to Traffic Jam Weekend, Alison!

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