THE STILL LIFE

July 15, 2013

 

Why ponder a fruit arrangement unless we’re stuck in a waiting room? The term Still Life, a flat-out oxymoron, conjures images of cut flowers, picked fruit and … you’re already bored. What if we found a deeper meaning while contemplating a genre that seems trivial? If God is in everything, where is He in a painting of produce?

 

 

 

Being still surely won’t make us feel alive. We are compelled to be productive, to move, work and play. We obey the call of this world to live life to the fullest, to seize the day as though it’s our last! But every accomplished task cultivates the next assignment. Our work is never done and we wonder how resentment builds alongside our ambition.

 

God marries the concepts of how we live and how we relate to Him in Deuteronomy 30:

“Choose life …
love God …
listen to His voice …
hold fast to Him …
for the Lord is your life.”

 

His prescription for us is a choice – not between life and death, but between the abundant life and the frantic life. One is the result of inward attentiveness and the other is the unintended consequence of chaos.

 

But it’s not that simple. Stillness is a complicated discipline. Like taking vitamins, it doesn’t seem to be immediately rewarding. With each dose of calcium, we don’t feel the bones strengthening and when we start spending time with God it can feel like a monologue beginning with, “To whom it may concern.” But we know it’s good for us.

 

Becoming interested in what God is saying to us opens our minds to another layer of this life. Our value is not found in our activities – our activities are given value by God. Communion with Him defines and prioritizes our goals and it refuels us for the valuable work He’s called us to do. The heart beaming from exposure to His presence reflects His love in service to others. And that slow, steady affirmation of a soul that’s centered on the wonder of God? That’s what truly makes us feel alive.

 

Brook Hensley creates "The Quiet Room" for each Seasons Weekend. She presents several paintings and original devotionals to go along with them. She brought this painting and devotional to Seasons Weekend Spring.

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