How hard is it to just slow down and be still? I’m sure the answer is different for everyone. I seem to have a knack for avoiding stillness. There’s always the laptop, the side projects, the blog, checking email, checking RSS feeds: and that’s without actually contacting people.
Even when I’m walking on my lunchbreak, I’m constantly playing songs in my head – and that’s without having an iPod to drown out the noise of North Sydney and its surrounding streets.
It had been at least a number of weeks since i’d managed to sit still for long enough to go beyond just doing things, and understand why I was doing them.
Rather than continue on with this saga, I decided (and Kel encouraged me) to take a day off to think a few things through; better yet, to line it up with Men’s Convention so I could approach a day of Christian talks with a greater readiness for change than previous years.
And it works! If you’ve had a break of more than a couple of hours between leaving the office and arriving at Katoomba (I remember one year where I pulled over on the way to Katoomba to handle some phonecalls back to the office), it certainly helps in your ability both to listen, and to prepare and plan for change.
What decisions have I come to, after madly scribbling my thoughts in cafes? That’s for another post.
Did I manage to reach a state of stillness? Well, not in a cafe. In fact, I tried multiple cafes, just to make sure it wasn’t the fault of the particular cafe.
Where, you ask? The place where I proposed to Kel: a look-out in Blackheath.
It’s been five years since I first went there – by myself, and found it to be such a great spot that I wanted to share it with kel, and to make it a significant spot for both of us.
It’s been nearly four years since I proposed, so I was interested to see what had changed. Surely in these years that have involved so much activity, so many changes for me, the valley has experienced a few changes…
But no. The view; the mountains, the trees at this lookout haven’t changed at all.
Just as when kel and I were there, and we had to stand around for a while before we were alone, I had to wait a few minutes before I had the lookout to myself.
It’s still an amazing view, a place of quiet and beauty. A place to think: despite the frantic pace of everything – all the things that would rightly make demands on my time – God is still in control. God was there long before anything that’s upsetting me, and He’ll still be around long after I’m gone.
So I found stillness in a place that’s already given me so much. I paused to give thanks, and then to remind the girl that I proposed to that I’d do it all over again.
And then, I picked up the pace again: until the next time I seek stillness.
Where do you go when you’re looking for stillness?
are you going to wait till you are in turmoil again or will you seek it while you are still tranquil
i wanted so badly to get to the convention, but it always ends up being just too far away, too expensive a trip.
I don’t know if I’ve quite hit "tranquility" yet, but I’m going to try for a few more times of reflection: I doubt it would be more than once a month, though.
Tristan, how far did you have to travel?
That was an awesome post. And a good reminder to stop and think about stuff every now and again, instead of being in a rut . . .
Morning walks are good for thinking. (Or at least creative thinking.)
i would have had to travel seven hundred kms and then some. and i’m already booked to head to sydney three or four times in the next few months.
Hi Dave, i’ve been thinking about this since you posted, trying to work out where i find stillness, and then last night went out for a walk and remembered……i find stillness when im walking! I can’t believe i forgot this. I have been pretty lazy over the last couple of months and have been looking at walking more for its exercise value, and therefore have been putting it off. But last night the dogs and i went for a long walk and to my surprise i found stillness……granted there were also moments of wondering why i instist on taking both dogs for a walk at the same time! But there was stillness none the less…. thanks for encouraging me to look 🙂
it can be fleeting and it can be drowning. but at the moment it is evading me. its ironic that i have more time to sit still than ive had for some time, and yet, to be still is still on my to do list.
alas i dont think that tranquility is within reach atm.
a friend said to me a while back, “2-5 years, bout the same for armed robbery”
im hoping to get parole before then for good behaviour
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