The Challenges of Being Still

The Challenges of Being Still

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalms 46:10

For the past few years I have heard friends talk about the One Word concept, but I never took serious thought into trying it out, partly because I have a stubborn streak when it comes to doing what everyone else is doing, and partly because I didn’t have a compelling sense of any such focus.

However, over the past several months I have been sensing that God is directing me to a particular focus in my spiritual life—to practice being still in his presence and learning to listen. (You will note that I have not shortened this focus to one word, because I am still being ornery.)

I don’t know about you, but being still is not easy for me. Or, to be more precise, being mentally still is not easy. I do not have an off switch for my thoughts. Even when I manage to push all exterior distractions out of my head, the thoughts still swirl.

But inspired by Brennan Manning’s book The Signature of Jesus (among other things), I keep trying. Because I want to press in to God. Because I want to be better at hearing his voice. Because I believe stillness is an important discipline to practice in this noisy world.

Has this newfound focus benefitted me? I don’t know. I have no way to measure it. But I will pursue stillness anyway, in faith that any time we pursue God it is of value.

Even when we can’t sit still for two minutes without our brains wandering off somewhere.

Keep listening.

It’s worth it.

About Lisa Betz

Lisa Betz writes from an empty nest perched on a wooded Pennsylvania hillside. When not volunteering at the school, church or library, she writes about life, both now and two-thousand years ago.


  1. I laughed at your “being ornery”…. you’re so cute. Yes, I can relate. I think this might be why I put off the “word” thing too, although I’ve decided to try it this year. I like your focus on being mentally still…. it’s a challenge, especially in this society of distractions, and that’s why it’s so good to focus on. Good for you!

  2. Janet K Brown (@janetkbrowntx) says:

    Great post. It’s a problem we all have, I think, in this fast-paced world. Stilling our minds is hardest of all, but well worth it when He speaks to us.

  3. You would think, being an introvert who enjoys solitude, that I’d be better at this be still thing, but no. If there is an off switch to my brain, I’ve never discovered it. But I’m determined to keep trying.

  4. Love this post! Thanks for sharing! Being still is hard to do.

  5. Hard, yes, but worth the effort. And all to easy to ignore.

  6. Tina Dorward says:

    Good reminder for all of us Lisa. Thanks for sharing

  7. Absolutely worth the effort. My thoughts tend to wander all over the universe, but once I have connected with Jesus, it’s like sinking into a deep, safe well. He and I in another world together.

  8. Laurie Driesen says:

    Love the Psalm 46:10 verse. God opened my eyes to that concept years ago and I’ve had to learn how to be still and just let it settle into my soul that He is God (and I’m not). Thanks for your post!

  9. Wow! It sounds like many of you could teach me something about being still. Thanks for the encouragement to keep pushing into stillness, even when I have to rein in my thoughts every 15 seconds.

Speak Your Mind