Be Still Challenge: Reflections From Week 1

Be Still ChallengeSo did you survive the first week? I did, but just barely. You wouldn’t think it would be so difficult to be still, but somehow, it was challenging beyond reason.

Before I tell you about it, I want to remind you that it’s never too late to join the #BeStillChallenge and tweet about your experiences. Who knows . . . I might let you contribute a guest blog post if I think you’re awesome enough!

If you’re just getting started, you’ll want to read this blog post for information on Christian meditation as well as an outline of the meditation plan, complete with Bible verses and meditation techniques. Here’s a quick recap of why I think meditation is important:

  • Can help you hear the “still, small” voice of God.
  • Can be helpful in relieving anxiety, depression and variety of other mental or physical ailments.1

With no further ado, let me tell you about my week.

Week 1 Context:

  • Bible verse – “Be still, and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
  • Concept – Commit to “being still” for one minute every hour. Commit to “being still” for 15 minutes twice a day.

My Week:

  • Sunday – This was Mother’s Day. It was a busy day, but I did get one opportunity to Be Still at a pond near my parent’s house.
  • Monday – After a week of paid time off, it was time to return to my cubicle. Even though my time off involved several hours per day of prayer and reflection on God’s word, I was still apprehensive about my level of preparedness. However, I did manage to squeeze in one 15-minute break and two one-minute breaks. I found it helpful to download a break timer to serve as a reminder.
  • Tuesday – You know how I never take lunch breaks? Well, on Tuesday, I was presented with the perfect opportunity to break that cycle – a “ladies lunch” planned by HR. I also managed four one-minute breaks! By the way, one minute is shorter than you’d think. To make the most of those 60 seconds, I decided to try writing out Bible verses as a way of meditating on them. I found it was easier to soak in the meaning of these verses by writing them instead of just reading them.
  • Wednesday – Another pre-arranged lunch break! This time, a vendor took a group of us out to lunch. As the food coma was setting in and I was drifting off to sleep in my cubicle, I managed to summon the energy for two one-minute breaks.
  • Thursday – I didn’t manage to take any breaks today. My company was getting ready for an event so I had actual deadlines to meet. Not the best excuse, I know.
  • Friday – No breaks today except for an unexpected lunch break with my family to say bon voyage to my sister before she headed to Alaska.

One week of the Be Still Challenge complete; seven to go. As I move on to Week 2, I’m not going to discard the Be Still concept of Week 1. Not all of the weeks build on each other (that would be overwhelming), but Week 1 is the foundation for all other weeks since stillness is the basis for meditation.

Who’s going to join me for Week 2?

  • Bible verse – “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5
  • Meditation-ish concept – Observe your thoughts and do not try to evaluate them or assign meaning to them. They are less important than you think. Don’t judge yourself for every random thought or it may become an obsession. Basically, the harder you try to not think about elephants, the more you’ll think about elephants.
  • Why – My brain never shuts off. Sometimes, I’m surprised at the weird, random thoughts that pop into my mind. Other times, I find my thoughts grasping at that which I will never fully understand. All the while, I’m judging myself for being weird. If I take every thought captive, then my thoughts are no longer my burden to bear for Jesus has already died for each and every bad thought I have had and will have. “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7

Join the Be Still Challenge on Twitter using the hashtag #BeStillChallenge.

  1. Thoughts contained in this blog post are not the equivalent of professional advice, and readers must agree not to hold the author liable for any damages caused as a result of engaging in meditation, prayer or any other form of peaceful stillness. Please consult a mental health professional for advice specific to you. That being said, there are few negative side effects to peaceful stillness. Everything the author knows about meditation is garnered from her psychologist, books written by psychologists, personal experience and, most importantly, Wikipedia. Read at your own risk.
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