Get Real Still

Feather 2 Jim Champion

It was easy to pick out Hadrian in the line-up of swimmers. The eight-year-old wore a life jacket and stood a foot or two shorter than the rest. Like those ahead of him, he waited for his turn to try the obstacle course that stretched the length of the pool.

Large blue and grey inflatable tubes, eighteen inches in diameter, were attached in parallel and perpendicular configurations with a slide at the far end. I watched one swimmer after another attempt to walk on water over this deceptively simple looking course. Nearly every person ended up losing their balance and falling in.

Then it was Hadrian’s turn. He dog-paddled out to the first tube and pulled himself onto it. Gingerly he got to his feet. He paused for a moment then stepped slowly onto one tube then another. When he felt his body waver, he paused until he regained his balance and then moved on, stepping and pausing along one and onto the next. Then he scrambled up and slid down the slide.

When he got out of the pool, my husband, Fred, gave him a high-five.

“How did you do it?” Fred asked.

“I got real still inside me,” Hadrian replied.

Hadrian’s words spoke to me. In the course of my day, I tackle one obstacle, and before I recover my balance, I’m onto the next. Perhaps this is why, at day’s end, I feel overwhelmed and just want to watch TV and eat. But the God who sees all this comes “disguised as my life” and invites me to pause between activities and get real still inside myself.

For me, that means taking a deep breath and opening myself to God’s love in the present moment, in whatever is before me.

Let me put that together with what I’ve learned so far since I entered this new land:

  • God accepts me and loves me as I am.
  • God wants me to love and care for myself–my whole self, including my body.
  • To do that, I need to take time to rest in God’s love.
  • Between activities, I need to regain my balance by pausing and resting in Love for a moment. 

Hmm. Will this really make a difference to my life?

Well, it’s working for Hadrian.

54 Vernon Walk

I have stilled and quieted my soul.
–Psalm 131:2a (NIV 1984) 

Questions for your Lenten pilgrimage:

  • When was the last time you were still?
  • How did it feel?
  • What would it be like to return there regularly?

∗ ∗ ∗

Love Mischief for the World


Any social worker that is willing to do research in the area of shame and vulnerability, face her own stuff and talk about it has been up to much love mischief! Brené Brown is that person. I just watched her talk, “The Anatomy of Trust.” So helpful. Catch her Ted talks here. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, “Brené Brown, you’re my hero.”

What love mischief are you and God doing to care for the earth?
 Let me know and I will include it in an upcoming post.

Credits and References:
“Feather 2” by Jim Champion. Used with permission.
Quote: “God comes to you, disguised as your life.” is by Paula D’Arcy in Falling Upward by Fr. Richard Rohr.
“Hadrian in Vernon Walk 2015” by Fred Hizsa. Used with permission.
Photo of Brené Brown from her website.
© Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim, 2016.
Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without permission from Esther Hizsa is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used provided there is a link to the original content and credit is given as follows: © Esther Hizsa, An Everyday Pilgrim 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016.

About Esther Hizsa

Esther is a spiritual director and writer. She lives in Burnaby with her husband, Fred, and they have two grown children and two grandchildren.
This entry was posted in Lent, Mindfulness, Reflections, Stories and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Get Real Still

  1. Dave Small says:

    Great story – great application. Thanks Esther.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: There You Are | An Everyday Pilgrim

  3. Esther – great and timely post. I’ve been soooo busy the last month or two and have forgotten this past week to stop and be with God. He always calms me and centres me and leaves me in a state of peace. Thanks for the reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Esther Hizsa says:

    Hi Heather,
    Thanks! God is so good to give us what we need to hear, eh?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.