I loved the vibe of Fisherman’s Wharf, the solemnity of Alcatraz and the elegance of stately Victorian homes along the way. My camera was throbbing with images by the time I finally caught sight of the great golden bridge in the distance. I got the long shot, the wide shot and then I clambered under the bridge and lined up a stunning shot that was to be the shot of the day. And my battery died. And I didn’t have a spare.
To say I felt frustrated would be an understatement. I caught a bus back the next day. It was a brilliant sunny day and I had a freshly charged battery and a spare. About 10 minutes before the bus arrived at the bridge, a fog descended, as it is prone to do in San Fran, and as I alighted the bus, the bridge was shrouded in a cloak of white.
I must confess for a large part of my life that was me. Spent and in need of recharging but too busy to stop. There were children to raise, a business to run, parents to help and ministries to be involved in. Recharging was something I didn’t have time to contemplate or did I fear not being busy? Did busyness have a purpose in my life? Did it help me feel valued and useful? Was it my badge of honour?
What I was doing was good and valuable but I came to realise that unconscious self-fulfillment was the issue that kept me constantly busy, always available and frequently exhausted.
One of the hardest parts of travelling that road was learning to stop and be still. When the noise, the activity and involvement ceased, the silence was deafening. It was excruciating.
Then there’s the word’s from Isaiah “In quietness and trust will be your strength”. Now I guard my times of stillness and silence jealously. They add untold richness to my life and prepare me to give myself in ways I never could have done before. They’ve become my grounding space … my quiet centre.
The word ‘still’ comes from the Hebrew word meaning to ‘let go’ or ‘release’. Let go of my agenda, my control and the pressures of my life. Release them. Its in those moments God has my attention and I can hear him whisper, “Glen, will you do this for me?”