Have you ever reached a moment when you knew you needed to breathe? I am a runner and a mom, so the pressure to take a breathe can come on strong if you don't pace yourself. At the end of a dead sprint, the first thing your body tells you to do is inhale and get as much oxygen as possible. You gasp, you choke, and you may spit. Getting that first breath into your starving lungs can be painful, but it is what your body needs. My kids are equally as demanding when they need my attention when I have deprived them of my attention, which may also include some gasping and spitting. At the end of the day, the finish isn't pretty and somewhere you feel as though you missed the goal if you forget to just keep breathing.
God also wants our attention. He doesn't need it, He WANTS it. In fact, He pursues us until we turn to Him. He recently ran me down on the path of life and made me stop in my tracks. The first thing I heard Him say was, "BREATHE." Take your breath slowly and find your pace again.
As soon as He had my attention, He followed with a whisper:
ALIGN yourself with me.
Have you ever tried to run in a straight line tied to someone who is running the opposite way? Neither of you is going anywhere or one of you is going to end up surrendering to the runner with greater strength. When God is the one tied to the other end, there is no question who is going to win the battle. Our lives are meant to walk in lock step with our creator, the one who designed us and everything around us.
The mountain is easier to climb when you walk in the path already laid out for you.
I was ready to run now! Again, I heard the tugging at my heart saying, "BE STILL."
Be Still?! I thought, does God even know me? But I obeyed and took time to enjoy the life I was racing to finish. I embraced the opportunities to reconnect with my family and feel the freedom of taking replenishing breaths and re-discovering small moments of joy.
Be Still and know the plans I have for you.
Feeling refreshed and full of new energy, God was quiet. Maybe I hadn't been still enough. Then the voice came again, "LISTEN: Move when I move."
What I thought I had planned for the day changed, one of which brought me back to this special place where I can be myself and write the words placed on my heart to write. We all need that place, the place where we can be quiet and still, to think and feel like our selves. I hope each person is able to have a place like that in their lives, and perhaps when God moves, I will be ready to respond knowing I have this experience to look back on and a place to go when I need to Align, Be Still, and Listen.
Where is your quiet place?