They are often defined as creatures who stick crayons up their noses. Some have been known to wet their pants in sandboxes as a form of time management. Mostly, they squeal and drool and run around the room at high rates of speed.
Imagine approximately fourteen of them in an enclosed space on a Sunday morning. What is a teacher supposed to do?
- Sing songs
- Tell a story
- Make a craft
- Serve a snack
Then, see what happens.
After about twenty minutes,
- Kids stop listening
- They stop making eye contact
- Noise levels rise
- Sporadic movements increase
Been there. Done that.
Each time, a familiar ache starts radiating from the middle of my back. I begin to doubt that I will make it through the rest of the Sunday School hour without losing my sanity.
“Just put on an upbeat song,” my daughter instructed me recently with the patience of a caregiver dealing with a feeble mind, “ and tell the kids to dance.””
It sounded crazy, but I listened anyway..
“Wait a few beats,” she continued, “Turn the music off and yell, ‘Freeze’.”
I tried it. Turned up the music, got the kids dancing and yelled “freeze”.
They stopped. Instantly. With the exception of a few giggles, there was silence. The more we played the game the better the kids got. They stood completely still. Nothing moved except the beating of their little hearts and the blinking of their eyes.
Stillness is a discipline, I finally realized. But, it’s not just for kids. It’s for grownups like me.
Mind you, I don’t I run through grocery stores waving my arms and yelling at the top of my lungs. And, I certainly don’t interrupt the pastor on Sunday morning with a dash across the platform while lunging for the microphone.
Instead, it’s my schedule that often overwhelms me. Sometimes self-pity, impending doom and criticism toward other people spin my thoughts out of control.
I just need two words to calm me down.
God speaks and I know exactly what He’s talking about. Stop all the trying-to-fix-the-world-and-myself-and-everybody-else stuff and focus on Him. Only.
If you’re reading this blog you probably already know how to wipe your own nose and brush your own teeth. But, do you know what to do when God says to be still?
I’m learning. Daily. Learning how to stop gyrating with circumstances and fear. To be absolutely silent in my soul until the knowledge that God is in control stabilizes me. Totally and completely.