Wasco Tribune - Serving the community since 1970

By Pastor Jim Neal
First Southern Baptist Church, Shafter 

Pastor's Corner - Sept. 26, 2019

The benefits of being still


September 26, 2019 | View PDF

"Be still and know that I am God...” --Psalm 46a

No, I am not going to preach you a sermon this morning; this verse is just apropos to what I have been thinking about and dealing with -- thought maybe some of you have, also. Have you ever just wanted to stop the world for just a few minutes? We move at such a rapid pace in 2019 -- used to be we’d had to wait for the evening paper or Walter Cronkite to come on the 6 o'clock news to let us know what was happening around the world. Now, all we need do is “move a mouse,” click a button and shazam! -- we are current.

We hop in cars and speed to work, drive thru McD's or C.J.'s on the way grab a muffin or biscuit sandwich and "woof" it down in the car, as we walk to work or in front of our business computer as it warms up. Some even jump on airplanes and traverse endless miles to complete transactions and return home for supper in the evening. Those of us old enough remember life when things seemed so much slower and serene, although our Wheaties for breakfast were probably not any more nourishing than their fast food counterparts today.

So, when we try to slow down, as the Psalmist suggests, it seems such a monumental task. You see, we might sit somewhere quiet and pause for a season of solitude; however, our world does not slow down, does it? We close our eyes to meditate and maybe even attempt to get in touch with the Almighty and what happens? Our minds take over. It is like "ping-pong balls" in a popcorn machine going every which way with a plethora of thoughts (good and bad).

Why is that? A couple of ideas: First and foremost, if your reason for quietness is actually to meditate on the good things God has provided you, then the enemy is upset and does all in his power to thwart those moments. Secondly. and sadly. we have not been disciplined to exercise our minds to direct them toward meditation, quietness and spiritual conversation, have we?

I promise you this: If you will begin to discipline yourself for a mere 15 minutes a day to this regimen; the rewards will be astronomical. Oh, you might not become a spiritual guru, or a master at closing every sale, nor you will probably not solve any gigantic world problem. But I will bet my last dollar that you will become a better you, a better spouse and co-worker. and even someone with whom others look forward to being around -- and you know that won't be all bad, will it?

Hey, "Be still and know that He is God" and watch and live a much more peaceful and joyful life.

Have a great week being still.

Jim Neal is pastor of First Southern Baptist Church, Shafter.


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