Many years ago, my firstborn and I found ourselves at a local mall on the afternoon of Christmas Eve. Cold and rainy outside, the only thing on my mind was getting in, getting out, and getting home. “Alex, start praying!” I called out as we turned down another row to see the endless display of metal and rubber. I was four weeks away from my due date with my second child and not looking forward to a long trek across the back 40 in order to mark the final ‘x’ on my list.
As we approached the store end of that particular row, a shopper scurried out and pointed to her car, parked to my delighted surprise in the second space! Thrilled at our good fortune, I flew into the space with laser precision accuracy, threw the car in Park and reached for the keys. “Let’s go, sweetie,” I called to my son as my legs were swinging out the door. He looked at me, blue eyes soft and clear like a new marble and said, “Mom, since we asked God for this space and He gave it to us, shouldn’t we just sit here and enjoy it?”
Dumbfounded. Embarrassed. Ashamed. I felt all these emotions and more in a nano-second. In my haste to move on to the next thing, I had completely ignored the simply asked and immediately answered prayer of a child. My child, whom I had taught from infancy that God delights in relationship with us and always hears us when we pray. I surrendered the keys to the floor mat, sat back, closed the car door, and meekly responded, “You’re absolutely right.” Silence followed. Alex leaned his head back against the headrest and closed his eyes in great anticipation of the moment before us. I followed, though not so relaxed, in awe of the dramatic life lesson God was playing out using my car as His stage.
In the midst of the quiet, I recalled the words of Psalms 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” Almost laughing, I reached into the back seat, grabbed my Bible, and hurriedly turned to the passage. Unable to remember the first nine verses it seemed very important to read the complete passage. To my surprise I found that verses 1-9 are chock full of noise and activity. And then, in verse 10, our Father calls us simply to “be still and know that I am God.”
My son and I sat in the car that afternoon for only a few short minutes before he was ready to move on. But that day, and his stunning observation, has never left me. In seasons of haste when my heart is anxious, my list of ‘next things’ is long and life is overwhelming, I’m reminded to find a place where I can enjoy a few moments of being still. God is always there. And more than anything I can ever do for Him, I know in my heart He simply longs for me to be with Him.