We were forewarned. The weather warnings were clear. “An ice storm is coming.” “Prepare for the worst.” “Everyday activity will come to a standstill.” This time, the climate predictor’s prophecies came true. The Central Plains were covered in layers and layers of ice. Time stood still, as did everything else.
Businesses closed early, schools rang their bells, runways were silent and church lights were turned out. The state was frozen solid as thousands lost power, and public servants did all they could to keep emergency travel routes clear.
Suddenly, our world was motionless. Our to-do list became awkwardly short. Our busy schedule was interrupted with nothing more to do than wait. After the first day or two of calm, our minds and bodies grew restless for action. The withdrawal from daily stimulus was starting to test our patience. Our minds pondered, “Isn’t there something we need to be doing? What a waste of time!”
Perhaps Christian apologist Blaise Pascal got it right when he suggested our desire and drive for entertainment and busyness only serve to distract us from thinking more deeply about our human condition. Pascal believed a man’s unhappiness is rooted in his inability to stay quietly in his own room. Keeping ourselves occupied diverts our attention from our condition.
Stillness has a way of illuminating our situation. Busyness becomes the salve we use to dull the pain from much deeper issues. As long as we are busy, we cope. The conflict resolution, addiction recovery, financial freedom, physical fitness and spiritual commitment, like similar issues, will wait for another day, for today, I am busy!
The more we spend time alone, the more we look forward to spending time doing anything else. Times of solitude have a way of reintroducing us to our state of affairs. We recognize our depravity-what we are, when left to ourselves.
As we gaze out the window admiring the amazing calm that has been brought our way, the Lord’s still small voice has a way of finding us there. He reminds us He is always available, and the peace and calm that manifests itself outside the window pane is available to us every day as we take time to make time to be alone and still with Him. We soon discover that we are never alone when we are with Him. Time alone with God turns cabin fever into cabin fervor. As we still our hearts before Him, He brings the renewal we need to face the day as the ice begins to thaw and life’s busyness is once again embraced.