Don’t just do something ... sit there!
by Louise Westfall
The Word in Scripture
Sing to the Lord a new song,
God’s praise from the end of the earth!
Let the sea roar and all that fills it,
The coastlands and their inhabitants.
Let the desert and its towns lift up their voice,
The villages that we inhabit;
Let the inhabitants of every town sing for joy,
Let them shout from the tops of the mountains. Isaiah 42:10-11
The great baseball player Satchel Paige once opined Sometimes I sit and think. And sometimes I just sit.
I think that’s good advice for people of faith during Advent.
During a month filled with activity and stretched schedules, preparations and partying, what might change if we made time for … doing nothing? Take some moments during these days to breathe, to sit, to think (or not!), to let our minds drift where they will, and to thank God for God’s presence with us.
The prophet Isaiah led the people in joyful praise to God and we might imagine a scene something akin to Sunday worship. But actually, this was a thanksgiving song when the people were in exile from their homeland, held captive by a hostile empire. There was little they could do to change their situation. Yet they gave thanks.
They could do so because they remembered that God was with them always, even in these most unpromising circumstances. They leaned forward into a day when they would once again be home, free and reunited with their extended family. How could they not sing for joy in anticipation of that day?
The promise comes. Pray that we not miss it because we were too busy.
Gracious God, when we are tired and frazzled, fearful and fretting, help us to claim the promise of your steadfast love, your presence at our side. Help us to sit, to stop, look, and listen for your still small voice. Refresh us in our waiting, Holy One. Amen.
Look for moments to sit and do nothing. Focus on breathing in and out. Reflect on God’s great love for you. Breathe a prayer of thanks.