The Whirling Dervishes, a Sufi Muslim sect, spin.  Have you ever seen YouTube videos of them? They spin for hours, trying desperately to touch the divine.  They spin to hear heaven’s voice. They spin for healing. They  spin themselves into a trance so they can leave the burdens of this earth behind.

Some of us shake our heads at the futility of this manic twirling.  But you know what?

We spin too.

We spin because we want God’s blessings. We spin because we’re hurting. We twist and turn because we want to hear His voice. We spin because it makes us look better.

We spin because we desperately want God’s acceptance, acceptance we already have.

We spin because countless Christian books, and radio hosts, and sermons tell us to…

Do more

Say more

Give more

Be more

I’ve been thinking about this lately. As many of you know, I’ve been on a quest this year, a quest to learn from Christian artists who have found ways to make an impact on secular culture. In talking to these award-winning filmmakers, directors, animators, and musicians, I’ve noticed something. They’re singularly focused on what they do. They know who they are, who they’re meant to be, and chase after that with all their hearts. They’re excellent at what they do, and that’s one of the reasons why they connect.

But, in order to find that excellence, they’ve had to say NO… to good things that aren’t their things, to church things that take them away from God-led things, to anything that takes them away from their purpose, to anything that causes them to spin….because excellence takes time.

Time to heal, time to think, time to listen, and time to fail.

I know, it seems counter intuitive, but sometimes,  in order to move forward in our faith, we need to be still

Be still and enjoy the life God has given us.

Be still and enjoy our families, our friends, the blue sky outside, all gifts that came with no strings attached

Be still in the painful silence as we wait for the answers we’ve been crying out for instead of trying to conjure them up.

Then, just maybe,  we’ll be able to hear God’s whisper, the whisper that says

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11:28-30)

See, there has to come a point in our relationship with God that we finally feel like we’re okay, comfortable, at ease with the amazing relationship God has given to us through His son.  There has to come a point when we realize that God loves us already, accepts us for who we are, hears our prayers, our sighs…our silence.

So to all of you who are tired of spinning, be still with me this year. And this time, maybe we’ll finally give Him the glory for the miracles that find their way into our lives, because it wasn’t our spinning that brought the blessings.

It never was.




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