A Center of Calm
A Center of Calm
The verses in Psalm 23 are some of the most comforting, calming words in all of Scripture: “He leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul.” When I am troubled or trying to process something difficult, I can’t imagine anything more helpful than a friend inviting me for a walk alongside a river or stream. This embodied image of God as a loving, caring friend who leads me on long walks beside still waters calms and restores my soul.
Through getting still I have come to know calm. Calm is the promised land that lies on the other side of still. I couldn’t have entered into calm through any other door than by being still. Crossing the awkward, fearful, sometimes emotionally treacherous terrain of still is what it took to recalibrate my mind and spirit to calm. It was a crisis that brought my workaholism to a stop and brought on withdrawal symptoms. The emotional work of stillness began to counter my unhealthy dependence on work as I sat by myself in seemingly unproductive quiet. In this way, still is a paradox; it isn’t still at all. Water can be still without being stagnant as long as it holds life. Calm can be full of energy when it is harnessed by self-control. A calm life is not motionless or immobile; it is a life with great capacity and full of movement, but its pace is different and its motive is pure.
Nicole Johnson is a writer, speaker, and actor as well as the author of Calm in the Center of Crazy. Learn more at NicoleJohnson.org. Taken from Creating Calm in the Center of Crazy by Nicole Johnson. Copyright © 2017 by Nicole Johnson. Used by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com