One of life’s biggest mysteries for me is learning the art of being still.
According to an ancient African proverb, “You cannot see yourself in running water.”
In her book, “Value in the Valley,” author Iyanla Vanzant says, “Only in the stillness of mind and body can we come to ‘know’ what action to take and in which direction we should move.”
But let’s be honest- being still and listening to the quiet voice of God inside of you is hard enough when things are going well. So when things are not going so well, or even worse – when nothing seems to be going right – hearing that voice is like listening for a whisper in a crowded stadium during the Super Bowl.
How do you experience peace when there are a million different thoughts, voices and conversations running through your head all at the same time, and the majority of them are negative? It’s hard to admit that I own that struggle more often than most would think, blaming it on my faith muscle that may have deteriorated under the strain, stress and negativity or using traumatic experiences in my past to give in to what I know is not the truth.
One of the most consoling realities to remember when we are going through any kind of struggle is that we are not alone – and never have been.
In Psalms 46:10, when the scripture says, “Be still and know that I am God,” it is proof that through the ages, because we’re human, we have needed to be reminded to stop and listen to God. And it doesn’t matter how close to or far away from Him we are. Sometimes we get the feeling that people in the public eye who seem to always be smiling and singing his praises have it all together all the time. Yet, like any of us, they go through loss, sickness, addiction, divorce and depression, and because they are often role models, it’s even more difficult for them to know where to go when they’re in trouble.
Who knew that gospel powerhouse Dorinda Clark Cole was on a first-name basis with a pain so deep she almost lost her way – forever?
In a recent talk with her, I learned about her struggle – everything from her suicide attempt to her many successes, personally, spiritually and professionally – and most importantly, the moment she learned to be still.
Click here for our lively interview.
Nikki Woods is senior producer of “The Tom Joyner Morning Show.” The author of “Easier Said Than Done,” the Dallas-based Woods is currently working on her second and third novels. You can friend her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter: @nikkiwoods.