The backwater lake shimmered in the light of the mid-morning sun.
Ripples danced through the water like figure skaters on ice, making chaotic patterns interspersed with brief moments of circular perfection where the fish poked up for a bite to eat.
Across the water was a stand of cypress trees, their ghost-white forms stretching high into a cobalt and cotton-ball sky, with only their thick layers of spanish moss weighing them down.
It was a place of peace.
As I sat there in the quiet, a thought occurred to me. Looking at the rippling lake, it was very easy to distinguish between the reality of the trees and their reflection in the water. While the water echoed the image, it was imperfect, incomplete and unstable. To see what the trees were really like, I would have to stop looking down at the reflection and look up at the reality.
The same is true about the way we see our lives.
The Apostle Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 13 that “we see through a glass darkly,” and that as much as we’d like to, we can never truly see things with total clarity on this side of heaven. As much as we would like to look up and see the world as it really is, we can’t.
So what can we do?
Looking back at the lake it occurred to me how much more clearly I would be able to see the reflection of the trees if the water were still. Without the restless surface activity, it would be simply to see with greater clarity.
So it is with life.
There will likely never be a time when there isn’t a ready supply of responsibilities and diversions to keep us occupied. Our whole culture is built on the idea that busyness is a good thing, and that the more you DO the more successful you ARE. Yet, without regular moments to rest and reflect, it’s doubtful we’ll ever be able to see as clearly as we would if we made the time to simply stop and be still.
As you look at your life, take the time to plan in moments of quiet.
Have the courage to get off the treadmill of life and just sit for a while.
When you do, you may find that whole new worlds open up to you, because stillness brings you clarity.