A Moment To Be Still

A Moment to Be Still


The world keeps moving. Slow down at the risk of falling behind.  It’s 24/7. Now, now, now. No one waits for anything.  Must, must, must.

But I need to escape. I need to clear the clutter from my brain. I can’t keep swimming.

It’s Friday evening and the Sabbath has begun. I’m in the synagogue and nearly done the evening prayers.

In fact, I’ve just completed the silent Shmoneh Esrei prayer which is said to ones’ self while standing and still.  It is the centerpiece of the evening service. I’ve taken three steps backward to symbolize my taking leave from God and the last of the words have been silently said. They prayer is done. But before I take a step forward and return to the world, I pause.  I have something to add.

It’s during this time each week that I make a special request from God. I make many requests actually, but one stands above them all.

I hold my body still and firm. And I ask God for help.

Please God help me to move past the previous week. Help me to let go of the frustrations, the disappointments, the expectations, the promises, the failures and even the successes. I want to erase them all.

And then I strive for focus and a mind free of clutter. Quiet. Internal quiet. Turn off the constant play by play analysis going on in my head. No thoughts of the past. No thoughts of the future. I strive to reach a place similar to what Eckhart Tolle touched upon in his book, Power of Now. I want to be in the present. Only. And I want that present to be quiet. To be free. To be peaceful.

It should be easy – shouldn’t it? Just stopping. I’m just emptying out the system, deleting the files.

But it’s not.

To achieve the moment, the feeling, I’m striving for is hard. Very hard.

It’s putting away the guilt for not having enough patience with my children. It’s putting away the frustration of a miscommunication with my wife. It’s putting away the disappointment of not hearing from a friend. It’s putting away the laughter of a joke well told. It’s putting away the pride from a blog well written. It’s putting away the satisfaction of being a good son.

It’s putting away everything. It’s putting away anything.

I need this moment. I need this serenity. It’s my bridge. It calms me, settles me, frees me. Everything is okay. Everything is fine. I will manage. I will be content. I thank God.

With this moment complete, I cross the bridge and am now in Sabbath mode. It is the Sabbath that gives me time and space. It allows me to enjoy family, friends, food, rest, and more. It allows me to slow down.

For the next 24 hours, I have the gift of the Sabbath. It’s a gift I cherish for it empowers me. And it enables me.  It grants me the strength to deal with the rigors and appreciate the beauties in each moment and day in the coming week.

And when that week has come, I will rush along like all the rest. But I know the week will end, and I will have my moment to be still.

10 thoughts on “A Moment To Be Still

  1. What a beautiful post Larry! I love the extra minute you take to just be in the present, and to put aside the past so that you can move into the future, free of burden. It’s not easy, but I think it is something that more of us should work on! I know that I am working on it!

    Being busy resonated with me. The other I noticed how several of my friends and family just looked tired, and they sounded tired and acted tired. “Oh, I’ve been so busy”. We hear this all over the place. And as I’ve listened to them recount all they are doing, I realized that it wasn’t much different from my schedule, the hours I keep, the activities I participate in – but I wasn’t so downtrodden and tired. I brought this up to a friend, and honestly, I was bragging on myself a bit 🙂 about how I’m doing just as much but don’t feel so awful and surely I don’t act like that! And my friend pointed out, that I’ve worked to eliminate the “busy” from my life. As part of my “don’t compare myself to others” resolution, I no longer feel the need to compete with the schedule everyone else keeps (most of the time) and I’ve managed to eliminate the “busy just to be busy” aspect of my life, and now all that I have going on are things that I enjoy! I work 9 hours a day and then twice a week I go work 6 more on my feet in the concession stand. And I’m up early the next day for this and for that – but I’m am enjoying it! I have been able to fill my life with things that are meaningful to me and so the time I’m spending is building me up, and not wearing me down!

    And yes, I totally took a small portion of your post and gave you my life story, but I have been doing yoga, and just recently starting adding in about 5 min of meditation every couple of days, and that time that I get to spend talking to God, and letting my mind empty, all of those extra thoughts are able to drift away, and compost and wait to be recycled into something better! So, I love that you take just a few extra seconds to have that conversation, and lay it all out and move on with a fresh start! I hope that it gives you the calm, balance and energy you need as you have all of these new adventures in front of you!

    • Thanks for so much sharing this.
      You truly have one of the best attitudes of anyone I know. I love how you are using your time so well. I think you should write a post on this and of course, link to my blog.

  2. I just woke up from my Sabbath nap, so I can relate with all these thoughts!

    I’m also working on being mentally still and quite during my waking hours, seeking and noticing God’s abundant provision in each moment. It’s hard! I fail a lot.

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