In a world that will rival for their hearts and attention, it is my hope that my children will be able to recognize the still, small voice of God. This is not a gift that comes naturally to me. I am wired such that my drive to do is stronger than the need God planted in me to just be. Be still. Be calm. Be attentive to things unseen. And yet experience has taught me that those moments of being still are the moments that order all the other events of my day.
So in at attempt to train my children in the gentle art of being still we have adopted a morning practice ...
After a time of reading together, we all sit on the couch and close our eyes. Individually we ask God if He has anything to say to us. And then we wait. It's hard. But it's getting easier. I tell the kids that an image or thought might come to their mind, and if it does they can say, "God, if this is from you please show me what it means." And then we wait some more.
Often times they don't have anything to share. Sometimes it silliness. And that's okay. They are learning to be still. In a world of distractions and busyness and screens competing for their attention, they are learning to set aside time to seek God. They are learning to fix their eyes on things unseen.
The other morning when we were practicing the art of stillness I saw an image of a large oak tree, a small house and squirrels. Lots of little squirrels scurrying busily and happily around and over and through yellow grass. The image instantly reminded me of the house on a little piece of this earth we are remodeling. And as I sat with the image I was gently reminded that "unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it." (Psalm 127:1)
On the same morning Adam saw a "beautiful, warm, golden sunset." He said he felt God telling him "we have a wonderful adventure on the horizon."
Henry saw a window with sunlight streaming in and "beautiful glitters of dust in the air." He said mostly he just felt peaceful. But it also reminded him of the window in the school room in our new house and it made him feel "that school is just going to get better and better and better for us."
And Claire saw a big puffy heart. And "felt love."
As parents we have an endless to do list. Things to do around the house. Things to do at work. Things to do for and with the kids. Things to do for ourselves. And our marriages. Things to do for school and church and neighbors and extended family. Lessons to teach. Practices to attend. Bills to pay. Commitments to keep. All of these things are pressing and immediate. But in the midst of the urgent, let us pray for wisdom not to forget the eternal. And let us respond to the tugging God has placed on all our hearts to be still and know that He is God. (Psalm 46:10)
So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:18