This means I have to be still a lot of the time. I'm learning the power of standing still. I’m not that good at it but I’m trying.
Things I once could do with ease are not so easy now...climbing, running, leaping...I can see the movement clear enough, but my body doesn't always do as it's told. So I surrender grudgingly to "still" and curse my weakness; never fully graceful in motion, I'm even less so now.
What's more, the stillness of growing older asks me to go go deeper than muscle and bone.
By now I'm expected to still my tongue and not let words fly fast and loose. To hush myself when I know just the phrase I wish to hurl, and where I'd like to aim it. I'm asked to hold my ground and not be swayed by whims or fads, or pushed beyond propriety or kindness. Sometimes I am able; sometimes I am not. But I have the power within me to be still. At my core there's a solid and steady center, fixed even when I flail and flash and fall.
A recent piece of sad news held a snippet of a poem I'd long forgotten: Robert Frost's lovely "The Master Speed." He wrote it for his daughter's wedding day, and it's most-oft quoted lines are the final ones:
That life is only life forever more
together wing to wing and oar to oar.
Those are lines full of sweeping motion. They're beautiful...but the ones that haunt my mind are these:
And you were given this swiftness not for haste
Nor chiefly that you may go where you will.
But in the rush of everything to waste
That you may have the power of standing still."
Father who knit my cells together and who keeps my heart beating in metronome steady time, let me grow to love the power, the glorious power, of standing still in and resting strong in You.
"Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the Lord will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." (Exodus 14:13-15)
Amen. I just need to be still.