A small child sitting in a chair.
Watching the world in full fluid motion.
Eyes agape, he notices everything around him.
A classmate beaming with excitement about her A+ paper.
Another running to tell his dad he just made the soccer team.
And others out and about laughing with their friends as though they have not a care in the world.
The small child attempts to get up from the chair to join the others, but much to his dismay, he doesn’t budge. Like not even a single bit. At first, this is very odd to the child. He’s sat a thousand times (not in this exact chair but ones just like it), and getting up has never been an issue before.
And he thinks to himself, “anywhere but here.”
And so, he does what any natural child would do. He tries a second time. A little wiggle here. A little wiggle there. And for whatever reason, he comes up short yet again. He just can’t seem to move himself from the chair.
And he thinks to himself again, “anywhere but here.”
And so, he does what any natural child would do. He tries a third time. With arms flexed, he pushes down with as much force as he can muster. He quickly glances down, and to his amazement, he sees his lower half slowly rising from the chair. Just as soon as he realizes he’s moving though, his tired arms give out, and back down in the chair he goes!
Exhausted from his efforts and more frustrated than ever before, the child’s rascally internal voice whispers yet again, “anywhere but here!”
A day or two goes by, and the child is just plain mad. Upset that he’s not someone else. Someone like his friend with the A+ paper or someone like his friend on the soccer team. And what about the rest of “them” out and about carrying on as though life couldn’t be better? Angered that his friends seem to be living life more than him, he has nothing to do but sit and watch the world go by.
At least that’s what he thinks. At least that’s what he feels.
And in utter and sheer disappointment, this time he screams that redundant phrase aloud for all to hear, “anywhere but here!”
But time doesn’t seem to care: days turn into months and months into years.
And slowly but surely, the child relaxes. His fists neatly unclench, his back molds into the the chair as if it were an old friend, and eventually, the grimace on his face even begins to fade.
And slowly but surely, the child becomes content with his seat in that chair.
Because he soon realizes that that chair is exactly where he is supposed to be.
At least for now.
Because in that chair, the child learns what it means to be still. And more importantly, what it means to be still and be okay with that.
He learns that sometimes what others have is not meant for us, and that’s okay.
He learns how to cheer others on in their victories and how to listen to them in their defeats.
He learns that there is beauty all around him and without many other cares in the world to stop him, he gets to enjoy it most. After all, he is just sitting and being still!
He learns that it’s not his strength that lets him rise and fall but someOne else who dictates his stops along the way.
And slowly but surely, he has faith that one day soon, he will be requested to rise from the chair to what he thinks are bigger and better things…
And as he does, he will never think again “anywhere but here.”
“Be still, and know that I am God.” –Psalm 46:10