Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth (Psalm 46:10).
Even though I spend pretty quiet days in my school library, when I think of school, on the whole, there isn’t a lot of “stillness.” Even during the most intentionally still times, like during standardized testing–even in a room dedicated to reduce distractions for the most distractible test-takers–it’s amazing how much activity there is–shoes scuffling, noses snuffling, pencils erasing, chairs creaking, people breathing.
Yet, I wish for you, my brave colleagues facing a new school year of known and unknown challenges, a full measure of stillness.
On the “Home” page on this website, I talk a little about stillness–the idea that there is an unseen world that can easily pass us by unless we take some time to be still and simply observe for awhile. I was reminded of this on a recent vacation with my family. We had hiked the Comet Falls Trail at Mount Rainier National Park (think hill and stair-climbing for three solid hours–it’s only due to the graciousness and patience of my family that I made it all the way to Van Trump Park!). While we ate lunch at this little open space that looked up at the enormous hunk of snow and rock called Mount Rainier, and over a deep valley to a green, rock-studded meadow, I mused out loud to my girls that it would be so cool if one of those white rocks moved and actually turned out to be a mountain goat.
We watched in silence for awhile, when Amanda said that a rock wasn’t moving, but what was that dark spot? It turned out to be one black bear, and then, two! When the bears were moving, they were relatively easy to see, but when they were still, we had to be equally still and watchful to catch their movement from one place to another; otherwise, we’d miss them completely and only see an “empty” meadow of shrubs and rocks.
Stillness. I guess it’s too much to ask the kids at school this year to be perfectly still, but I do wish for you a year of taking time to be still yourself–to remember–daily–that God loves you. Psalm 46 also says that “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble,” and that “though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging,” we will not fear!
So, my dear, brave school colleagues, remember that no matter how trying the days to come may be, God promises that He’ll be with us through it all!
Blessings on a wonderful new school year!
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