“Where could I go from Your Spirit?
Or where could I flee from Your presence?”
— Psalm 139:7
While I was recently traveling out of town, I went on my morning run and ran through a cemetery near the hotel. Let’s get this straight, I don’t spend lots of time running through cemeteries. The one thing that grabbed my attention on the run was the number of benches that were in the cemetery. Dozens of benches were placed throughout the graveyard was something I have not noticed before.
As I thought about why this was, I realized that people want to sit down, reflect and remember the loved ones who have gone before them. Sitting and soaking in memories is important, and the bench provides the perfect opportunity for that. I recalled a phrase my dad always said: “Sit, soak and sour.” Those are the ones that reflect and only remember the negative. They dredge up the junk and garbage of the past, and they get stuck. They can’t move on.
The negative leads to sour.
The positive leads to soar.
Maybe the benches are there to sit, soak and soar! Stopping the chaos and stepping away from all the stuff that clutters my life and reflect on God’s goodness, greatness and graciousness produces a heart of gratitude. When my focus shifts toward the blessings of God and not the burdens of this world, the joy of the Lord changes my perspective. When I take time to sit and soak in God’s presence, I begin to soar.
Unfortunately, too many people skim, go through the motions and have no discipline to sit. Just go, go and go. Do, do and do. Faster and busier isn’t better. Sitting and soaking is better. I have a personal phrase strike that I will never say,“I’m busy.” I won’t ever utter those two words, because it has become the new hello. I say, “How are you doing?” and everyone says, “I’m busy!” When I talk to people on the phone, and they need to go, they say, “I’ll let you go.” I say, “I don’t need to go, but if you have to go then I will let you go!” Are we really that important? Are we really that busy?
Over the past 10 years, I have learned the discipline of sitting and soaking from our FCA international teammates. Taking time to reflect, remember and rejoice has been a huge breakthrough for me. Sitting with Andriy and Lindsay in Ukraine and carving out time to reflect has produced huge insights! Or fellowshipping with Julio and Jen in Guatemala. And being with Jin and Moon Young in Korea for their wedding. God has revealed so much over the years when I have taken the time to stop and soak. Then I soar (not sour) when I reflect on His blessings.
Sitting and soaking allows us to move from surviving to thriving. The cemetery is full of benches. And for good reason! However, is there a bench in your life that creates space for you to sit and soak, so that you can soar? We need to stop each day so that we can go to the seat and soak. Lingering longer allows us to listen and hear God’s voice. We need to stop the rushing, drop to our knees and soak in His glorious presence. Sit at the feet of Jesus and wait for Him to reveal insights and truth. We need to shut it down and listen to the Holy Spirit instead of filling the time with busyness. Linger in His presence and find out what is on God’s heart. This is hard to do..
“I will wait for You, O You his Strength;
For God is my defense.”
— Psalm 59:9
We need to SIT daily, SOAK before the Lord and SOAR in His promises and provisions. Sitting is our discipline; soaking is our posture; soaring is our response.
“Lord, help me to stop and sit in Your presence. Show me how to soak before You with all my heart, mind, soul and strength. And help me to soar today because of Your promises. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.”