“Be still child, God’s talking.” My grandmother’s voice would boom across the room. My sisters, brother and I tried to quietly occupy the sofas in the living room and wait out a lightening or thunderstorm. We weren’t allowed to be anywhere else in the house. I thought it was strange as a child to unplug anything seemingly non-essential. TV? Unplugged. A/C? Unplugged. Lamps? Unplugged. We use to joke under our breaths about unplugging the refrigerator.
My grandparents were adamant that anytime the “weather came up” our jobs were to be still and “let God do his work.” Couldn’t God do HIS work while I watched The A Team?
I was consumed with constantly doing something all the time. Still am, really. Interesting. . .over the years I’ve read several studies about cultures with a low orientation to time and cultures with a high orientation to time. In a nutshell, eastern ideology (African, Asian, etc.) places less importance on time and the need for excessiveness in communications whereas western ideology (American, etc.) does the opposite. Here, time is of great importance, there’s always the need to constantly do something. And during communicating, explicitness is required, choice of words are quite important.
I realized earlier today that still, even after all these years and the countless times I had to sit in silence on that sofa, I haven’t heeded my grandmother’s words. Or have I? I could be reaching a bit with this but the biggest lesson I’ve learned in my 30-something years is when storms are raging that is the best time to be still. I cannot control the situation but I can control how I respond to it.
If that was the lesson that she tried to teach, then I got it. I get it. I’ll remind myself.