There are three types of people in this world: those who get gas when the light comes on, those who don’t let the tank fall below half, and those who fill up when they think about it. I am a “gas light” girl both as a driver and in life. I will go until I can’t anymore, but I’ve been increasingly longing for stillness and I now know why.
Three years ago you couldn’t pay me to sit down. Life was about getting everything done and sitting still was a waste of time. Back then, self-care was something to do when I was sick or after everything was finished. I would say, “After this week,” or “After this event, I’ll rest.” Now, nap time and breaks are daily items on my checklist. Quiet time rejuvenates me.
Beyond sitting still, I’ve had an increasing appetite for divine connection. If cars run on gas, I run on God. There is a clear difference when I fuel up each morning by spending time with Him versus when I don’t. Time with God is personal, and it can look a number of ways. Here are two of my favorites.
Everyone who knows me knows I hate walking; I find it slow and boring. However, my desire to be still yesterday (and my need to workout) led me to take a three mile walk along our city’s river trail. I purposely chose to be present by feeling each step and soaking in the water and greenery around me. I didn’t give myself a time limit, only a distance. The walk was spiritual (even with my workout playlist blasting through my phone). My mind was free to wander and most of all relax.
Everything about yesterday’s walk was opposite of my normal life. I’m always time-conscious, I rarely slow down, and I’m usually trying to avoid seeing people because I don’t want to bump into anyone who might throw off my schedule. In the hour I spent walking around however, I smiled and spoke to everyone who made eye contact. I understood what it meant to be in the moment without thinking about the next task.
When we are grounded, we can fully engage in every moment. We can appreciate creation and acknowledge the people around us because our worries belong to God. Spending time with nature is a spiritual practice. Consider it a faith walk.
The middle bedroom of my house is my zen space. There are three centered windows that receive ample sunlight in front of which is a yoga mat. Some days I use the mat to do a series of sun salutations before praying. Other days I kneel face down in a silent prayer. Today, I sat in a butterfly position with closed eyes. These moments, usually in the morning, are sacred. I free myself of the days tasks and time limits and give myself space to be, to appreciate, and to talk with God.
My body is so used to moments of stillness that I feel guilty for walking by the room in the morning in a rush to start the day. It’s hard to explain but I truly believe God honors the time we give to Him. Practicing stillness brings a foundational peace that can be carried throughout the day. I’ve found that this same practice works midday when I have to transition to evening events. It takes work to commit to, but stillness is always rejuvenating. We can truly hear God when we silence the noise around us.
While waiting to fill your tank isn’t the most efficient practice, taking the time to do is still worth celebrating. (Shout out to the people who don’t go below half.) No matter when you chose to refuel, be sure to go all in and create intentional practices. Feel free to share your practices in the comments. Happy refueling!