Where I Sit
Journeying through life’s milestones, heartbreaks, celebrations, and changing seasons, the place where I sit has become more important. I’ve found the more intentional, strengthened, and settled I become in God’s presence each day, the more all those expectations of ought to’s, should do’s, need to’s and must’s get left behind and undone. And that’s okay, as I discover the place where I sit, the more urgent stuff on my to-do list slowly gives way to surrender, choosing to resist the urge to keep on being busy as I decide I’m going to direct God each day in my way of doing things and what I feel is best for my life. When I pause, my perspective changes and I start to look at things from God’s perspective because the place where I sit has become expanded and I can see farther than I could before.
I’m quite sure God likes benches. I’d like to imagine that when we spend eternity with Him, benches will be strategically placed everywhere in heaven so we can find space to pause, reflect, and take a moment to selah. King David used the word selah a lot in the Psalms. Some say that it is a musical writing prompt where the reader stops and listens as they go through the poetic songs. Others say it acts as an underscoring, beckoning us to consider the promises and truths of God. Either way, it invites us to take a moment to observe where we sit.
I understand life gets full and we don’t always have the luxury of finding the space to sit and take a breather on a bench in our day-to-day activities. But perhaps, if I may be so bold to drop a thought into your thinking, don’t you find that you’ve been a little too busy running here, there, and everywhere? Has your selah been left at the bottom of a very large pile of ought to’s, should do’s, need to’s and must’s for so long that you’re sure that selah moment has suffocated under the weight of work you need to do, breathing its last breath?
Remember the lockdowns at the start of the pandemic when life suddenly became so simple? Of course, we weren’t permitted to go anywhere, so we had time and space to have plenty of selah moments on benches. We vowed back then, we’d be more accessible, less busy, taking the time to reflect and soak in the selah moments, spending time discovering where we sit. We promised ourselves we would keep it up even after the lockdown when we went back to doing our normal activities. However, busyness has become that untameable beast, yet again, always nipping at our heels, demanding our attention until we’re run ragged by all its needs.
I think secretly, we like busyness because we can hide so easily in all our over-full schedules because it gives us, weirdly, a sense of security. As Bill Johnson so wisely states, “Fear adds value to busyness” and the enemy knows that in our hectic, chaotic itinerary there is space for fear and no place where we can sit, pause in God’s presence, and reflect on His promises and truth. There are no benches to take a breather in the hustle of the broad, busy highway because you only find benches to selah by taking the narrow way.
Finding a bench to sit on along the narrow way requires us to rely on the Guide so we can become separated from our familiar surroundings and allow Him to lead us into unknown territory. Joe Hurston says that “our Guide has promised to never abandon us. He may be out of view, but he is always there.” Indeed He is.
I’m sure there is a big difference between where I sit and where you sit. Nevertheless, God’s Word and God’s presence meet us both, right where we’re at, when we stop for a moment and selah with Him for a while. On the bench where we sit we’ll find we get a different perspective, a higher view on all our concerns and problems as we choose to sit in God’s presence and let Him be our Guide. Purposefully. Intentionally. Unhurried. God promises to help all those who seek Him and He’s always willing to just sit awhile.
The Psalms help us to lift our eyes from our busy schedules and over-stuffed days so we can focus more on God. His Word helps you find a nice bench and He’ll be right where you sit and chat about your relationship with Him. And the more you find time to selah in God’s presence, it seems that all those expectations of ought to’s, should do’s, need to’s and must’s get left behind and undone. And that’s okay, for when we pause, our perspective alters and we start to see things from God’s perspective. And when you decide to leave your over-full schedule behind if only for a little while, you’ll discover the view from the bench is breathtaking.
‘I look up at the vast size of the mountains –
From where will my help come in times of trouble?
The Eternal Creator of heaven and earth and these mountains
Will send the help I need.
He holds you firmly in place;
He will not let you fall.
He who keeps you will never take His eyes off you and never drift off to sleep.
What a relief! The One who watches over Israel never leaves for rest or sleep.
The Eternal keeps you safe,
So close to Him that His shadow is a cooling shade to you.
Neither bright light of sun
Nor dim light of moon will harm you.
The Eternal will keep you safe,
From all of life’s evils,
From your first breath to the last breath you breathe,
From this day and forever.
Psalm 121 [The Voice Translation]
Where do you need to find a bench (literally or figuratively) and become more intentional, strengthened, and settled in God’s presence each day?