Cultivating Calm

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I once heard a story about a can, filled with water, rolling full speed down a hill. The momentum increased with every inch but suddenly came to a halt when the can ran into the side of a wall. While the can was completely stopped, the liquid inside the can kept swirling around and around; like a tidal wave contained by walls, not knowing there was a song on the other side.

Busyness vs Hurry

I know that everyone is experiencing the Covid-19 pandemic differently, but if you’ve found yourself staying in one place for longer than you have in the last ten years, this blog is for you. If you’ve found yourself struggling to sit still without your usual schedule or to-do lists, I hope this is an encouragement. 

There is a difference between busyness and hurry. While busyness is the pace at which we move and function, hurry is the posture in which we find our hearts. We can be still home but still feel anxiety swirling around inside (like the can… get it? ????)

In this season of stillness (or “stuckness”), rather than sitting in anxiety, let’s begin to cultivate calm in our hearts.

Calm: The absence of wind: in the center of the storm calm prevailed.

Dictionary

Cultivating Calm    

What cultivating calm looks like for me:

  • Rest – “He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me beside quiet waters, He refreshes my soul” (Psalm 23:2-3a). Yes! I can feel anxiety fade when I read these words. But, there’s a difference between rest and relief. Binge watching that Netflix show you’ve had in your queue for forever may not bring the restoration that rest can bring (nothing against Netflix. I’m watching a bunch of my own shows now). However, things like solitude, worship, nature, exercise, or a fun hobby, might have the effect your heart is looking for. One of my favorite things to help with this is listening to music. Check out a Spotify playlist I created to find calm in this season (below).
  • Read – Find joy in reading scripture. “That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither – whatever they do prospers” (Psalm 1:3). That sounds like a person who is healthy and centered, reminded of God’s promises and grounded in His truth. Even in this season of hurt and hardship, what would it look like if we made it our goal to grow deeper in God’s Word? It would be beautiful. It would be grounding. It would be calming. I believe we’ll find strength and comfort there.
  • Reflect – “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God” (Phil 4:6). Prayer and thanksgiving! Remember what He’s brought you through! Remember what He’s brought others through! Think on His goodness, reflect on it, thank Him with all your heart for it, “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:7). This looks like calm to me.

Looking Ahead

So, go with me a little bit further… If its possible to be hurried when we’re not busy, then its possible to find calm when we are. Our exterior responsibilities don’t have to dictate our internal rhythms. If you’re anything like me, you’re already thinking about how you’re going to switch gears into the same pace you were in before. We don’t have to walk into the next season as we were. We can cultivate calm now, and carry it with us in to the next season. Remember Peter walking out on the water? He had inner peace, even while things were rushing around him, but began to sink when the rushing reached his heart. Jesus is inviting us, like he invited Peter! I think the invitation is, “Look to me.” “Find rest.” “Be still.” “Find calm.” Let’s cultivate calm together in this time.

Hector Gabriel is a worship leader, recording artist, and professor from Southern California. He teaches at Cal Baptist University where he directs the Worship Arts and Ministry program and leads worship for Fellowship Church, in Monrovia. His music can be found on all streaming platforms. Subscribe below for more content and updates! Thanks for reading.

5 thoughts on “Cultivating Calm

  1. Wow, the analogy was perfect !!! This is exactly what my heart needed today !!! Thank you for the encouragement brother .

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