I just can’t imagine God saying, “Sit down and shut up!” Can you?
Or, “Children should be seen and not heard.”
Or even, “Sit still and mind your manners.”
Yes, we are children, daughters and sons of the Most High. But, “sit up and eat your peas,” just isn’t the conversation I expect to have at the table with God. Odd, though, that if we grew up in harsh strictness and belittledness, if we were ignored, disrespected, or God help us, abused, this notion of being children at the right hand of a father takes on an unwelcomeness. In self-preservation we learn to keep quiet and stay out of the way.
God has never been a God of self-preservation. Certainly not for children.
Yes, holy discipline surely is God’s kindness, that we learn to observe boundaries, respect rules and honor elders helps it go well for us. But sit still and be quiet … that just doesn’t feel like God to me.
In the space at God’s feet there is plenty of space to get the wiggles out. I imagine God chortles at my antics and shakes a head at my mischief, but confines me to one square foot on the rug? Nah. No loving parent would think that a good thing for a child.
And I am that Child.
To me, God has always said, go ahead and move. It’s way easier, then, to guide me in the right direction. That way, overcoming inertia will never be God’s problem with me.
My book, Made to Move: Knowing and Loving God Through Our Bodies, takes this approach. God made us to move and, through movement, to learn about and grow into ourselves. Of course, once we’re mature, a good dose of self discipline can help us still the outside so we can attend to the movement inside.
Lungs…expanding and releasing.
Muscles…stretching and lengthening.
Joints…relaxing and allowing.
Blood… coursing and flowing.
Thoughts…expanding and defining.
And there’s life itself, feeling kind of like it did when we were a kid. I am God’s kid and so are you. Let’s go ahead and act like it.
“The presence of inner peace is the still point of God.” ~ Flora Slosson Wuellner
But still doesn’t mean stalled.
The Comfort of Presence + The Power to Go Forth = Inner Peace
Still point to Starting Point = Outward Joy
Ready, Set, Go
Except I hide my sitting in moving. But trust me, I’m sitting on the inside. Oh, not lounging-on-the-couch-with-a-soda-and-popcorn-in-front-of-a-movie kind of sitting. No, I mean myself, the part of me who knows she is me, is seated and stilled. I must disguise this as moving because, were I to ACTUALLY sit, I’d be accused of sitting around which is wasting my time which is NOT allowed.
So, while I move, I sit.
And while I sit, I whir. The cogs turn and the wheels spin and holy smoke probably rises from my brain factory. Gone totally rogue, my ideas bump into each other, introduce themselves, recognize old friends, and sit and chat. So now THEY’RE sitting, too! The sound of a million voices is deafening, silent to the passerby, of course, but not to me.
I don’t mind it, though. It’s not distracting. In fact, it’s engaging to host a multitude of delightful thoughts, all with a chance to do more than gather, more than collect, more than mill around waiting for instructions. Here, in my very head which is bobbing along the roadway looking like it’s DOing something, these thoughts are churning. They are comparing notes, discovering, unearthing, creating. It’s quite a process. Never know what might turn up, or who.
Perhaps I will jot a few notes when I get home if there’s a particularly juicy tidbit. Or maybe if l let things mull and age and ruminate they will make themselves available for my next opportunity to sit, I mean, move.
Please don’t tell anyone. It’s really quite subversive, this stilling. In fact, it could be dangerous.
*phrase borrowed from a favorite greeting card.