My fish found her way back to the pool this week. Rachel’s swim teacher wanted her to float on her back, stretch out her legs, and kick slowly. At first, Rachel wanted to kick quickly and squirm. But the more still she became, the better and faster she floated.
On the surface, being still doesn’t make sense if you want to move forward. But when her body was stretched out and relaxed, it moved more freely on the surface of the water with some gentle kicks.
I sat poolside and watched her, thinking about how I’m the exact same way. I want to solve the problems, improve the situation, and do the things that need to be done. But I’m better off to be still before God first. When my actions come from that stillness, they’re more meaningful and on point to whatever the mission.
I read “The Sacred Enneagram” by Christopher Heuertz and really needed to hear his thoughts on stillness as related to the different types. I’m a 1w2, for those of you into the Enneagram.
“Rest meets the deepest needs of the Idealists, who are continually agitated, never satisfied, and often upset with themselves for failing to live into their impossible standards of excellence (One), originality (Four), or flexibility (Seven). Rest gives Ones, Fours, and Sevens a break from their constant frustration. When Ones rest in stillness, they find their breath and let themselves off the hook for not always getting everything perfect. It’s okay for Ones to stop fixing everything, themselves included, and relax.”
– Christopher Heuertz in “The Sacred Enneagram”
There is freedom in that encouragement to rest.
I want to lay my head back in the water, letting all the noises in the world be muffled as my ears dip below the surface. I want to let my eyes look up, not worrying about all the things going on around me at the moment. I want to give gentle kicks to get where I need to go while still resting in God’s ways.
Maybe that means I need to continue being selective about who I let speak truth into my life. Maybe I need to move slower throughout my days, leaving margin for stillness. Perhaps I should talk less and listen more.
I want to remember rest often
leads to productive action.
By the end of Rachel’s lesson the other day, she was floating like a champ. She was slower and calmer in her movements and ended up going farther across the pool. I watched her jump in and maneuver onto her back, to a place of rest.
As I was writing this, I realized I wrote about floating and faith last year too. Obviously, this is an analogy God uses to speak truth into my life. In 2019, I want to focus on living faithfully and I certainly needed this reminder of the power in stillness and rest.