It has been windy lately, and when it is windy I am reminded of my year teaching English in Japan. I would ride my bicycle to the different junior high schools where I taught English, and in March and April it was so windy that I would be riding my bicycle and I would not be going anywhere because the winds were so strong. I would be pedaling and pedaling, but not moving forward. I am reminded of that experience often, especially during the time of Lent.
We may have taken on a spiritual discipline in Lent or given something up in Lent. We wanted to do something to remember Jesus and to grow closer to God. For some folks, they feel like they have been doing their spiritual discipline or denying themselves something they enjoy, and they haven’t felt any difference in their spiritual life. Or other people have eaten the chocolate that they were going to give up during Lent or they have stopped their spiritual discipline as life got busy and they have not been reading their Bible every day. How often do we feel like we are pedaling and pedaling, but we are not moving forward? When I get to that place of frustration, I remind myself to be still and to know that God is God (Psalm 46:10). I am forgiven, and I can try again. I am loved by God, and I can use the frustration that I feel to breathe in God’s grace and to know that God loves me.
Staying still is not a bad thing. Staying still can actually be a good thing. When I stay still, I can feel God's Holy Spirit moving all around me. When I stay still, I stop and I listen. When I stay still, I focus on being instead of doing. When I stay still, I breathe in God's peace and strength and love.