"BE STILL AND KNOW"
It is a reminder for those days. Those days that start and end with demands. Those days I feel tossed about in a storm. On those unfortunate days I can't dip my toes in the Atlantic and feel wonderfully small it reminds me that God is still bigger than...everything. Even bigger than this colossal mess of a day.
The funny thing is, that verse at the bottom? Psalm 46:10. I thought I knew it. But I always have a lot to learn. I had a college professor who said reading the bible in English is like watching television in black and white - you get the idea, the gist. But reading it in the original languages it was written in? It's like watching color television - it comes alive. I was reminded of this recently while reading A Million Little Ways: Uncover the art you were made to live by Emily Freeman. Freeman points out that the phrase "be still" in the original Hebrew means "sink."
"Sink and know that I am God."
And even deeper down the root word is the word I fear the most - even more than drowning - fail.
"Fail and know that I am God."
To be honest, the picture above my bed is for the days I feel I failed. The times I know I just can't do it. As Freeman says,
"We cannot do this life. We cannot parent these children. We cannot lead this company. We cannot change this world. We cannot make this art.Not alone. Not on our own. Not without sinking first.In the act of sinking into God, of looking up at him from the depths of our own inadequacy, we begin to know who he is. In turn, we know who we are as well."
This revelation is surprisingly comforting, really - like feeling small when standing on the ocean's shore.
"I'm looking for dry ground, but God gives me water and tells me to sink. But this is not a sinking into worry or self-help. This is a sacred sinking into knowing he is God."
When my son learned how to ride his bike I told him it was ok to crash and fall, that it was part of learning how to ride a bike. It still hurt when he scraped up his knee, but because he was determined to learn how to ride he accepted falling as part of the learning process. I'm realizing as I do brave things (read: do things that scare me to death, like, say, parenting, or writing) that failing is going to be part of it. That's life. But it's ok. Having permission to fail gives us freedom to try, knowing our assurance comes from who God is, and not our own perfection.