“In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.” ~ Leo Tolstoy
It is one thing to work long and hard and quite another to crash recklessly through life, not stopping to see what impact we are making in our world or in our own lives. Tolstoy admonishes us to stop for a moment and take stock. Doing so can provide us with vital information. Taking stock can tell us that we are on the right track. Looking around can help us monitor how we are affecting others. Ceasing work can also give us some much-needed rest. We are not machines, after all. We all need to take some time to recharge.
When we stop for a moment, our eyes are also opened to new realities. We might see something in an entirely different way than we have ever viewed it before. That can give us the inspiration we need to move on or might give us inspiration to initiate something new. It also helps to reveal God who is among us both in the people with whom we encounter as well as in the experiences we have.
God is all around us. He is never distant. There are times we might claim that to be the case. But, in those times, it is us who distance ourselves from God. When we stop, cease our work, and look around us, we are able to see God once again and take stock of our direction.
That stopping is best accompanied by prayer. Prayer does not have to be something formal. We do not need a lot of words or instruments. We just need time and communication. When we stop to make time for God and when we tell Him honestly what is on our minds, that is often the deepest prayer in which one can engage. That is hard to do when we are in the middle of something else, though. Our actions demand our full attention. That attention is then taken from God.
Stopping helps us to focus upon God once again. In prayer, in relationship, in wondering at the awesomeness of nature around us, we can see God and find the wherewithal to respond to Him.
FAITH ACTION: Look around you today and find inspiration in God’s presence among His people and in His nature.