Movement restriction: ‘Can’t you just sit still?’

Posted 10/16/20

“Can’t you just sit still?” is a line used in attempts to restrict the movements of wriggly, precious young children. Likewise, restrictions in movement and assembly have made the …

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Movement restriction: ‘Can’t you just sit still?’

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“Can’t you just sit still?” is a line used in attempts to restrict the movements of wriggly, precious young children. Likewise, restrictions in movement and assembly have made the headlines around the world in recent months and have fostered a sense of stillness. In addition, through the lens of faith, we are instructed in the Bible to “be still.”

Within a spiritual context, “be still” means to stop moving in opposition to God. Put down the boxing gloves and stop fighting with God. It has been stated that our arms are too short to box with God. Let go of concerns and learn that God is Almighty. Calm down and know or recognize that He is God. Don’t oppose the Lord’s sovereignty. We acknowledge His glory and power.

And to be clear, being still does not mean to stop daily functions; we are not mannequins. We don’t undermine God’s sovereignty. Just surrender. Let’s sing: “I surrender all. All to Thee my Blessed Saviour. I surrender all.”

Global stillness describes the earth during the recent shutdown with unpredictable restrictions on assembly and movement. According to reports, experts contend that the earth became still for several months whenever the new coronavirus limited activities worldwide. They used instruments to compare noise levels and ground movements before and after the shutdown, and the differences were surprising. Despite it all, the headline news is that God is yet in control, so “be still” is great news for a turbulent world.

But truthfully, as educators (and patiently defending adorable children who are yet developing the skill of sitting still), we realize that optimal learning environments for all ages are those that have an integration of movement, as evidenced by brain-based learning. Anatomically, movement increases the flow of oxygen and blood, thereby boosting memory and focus. I am intrigued by the association of learning with the brain development and instructional design for children and adults.

Even so, it is blessed quietness, as phrased by a familiar hymnal: “Blessed quietness, holy quietness, what assurance in my soul. On the stormy sea, Jesus speaks to me, and the billows cease to roll. He abides with us forever, makes the trusting heart his home.”

Good old-fashioned advice: Let’s say this, “Not today, Satan. Not today.” Put the works of darkness under your feet.

Final thought: Psalm 46:10 ends with “... I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” This is a command to the world, yet we live in a world that opposes God with the promotion of anti-Christ lifestyles and policies. How can we combat oppositions or defend the faith so that others may recognize God’s glory?

Prayer: We exalt Thee, O Lord. Keep us focused on You during trying times, and quieten our hearts. Lord, allow Your still quiet voice to speak. We are silenced so we can hear from You. Strengthen us and hold us tight during difficult times. In Christ’s name and for His sake, Amen.

Della Marie Woods Newkirk is an educator and native of Lillington. She can be reached at newkirkdella@gmail.com.

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