Be still and know that I am God. (Psalm 46:10a)
Be still? Oh God ask me of me anything, but not that. Ask me to stop my career, move to San Diego, and be a missionary. I would do that. Ask me to direct a camp in Idaho. I would do that. Ask me to change denominations. I would do that. Ask me to stay up all night at the youth lock-in. Ask me to lead a mission trip to Tennessee. Ask me to direct a Christmas pageant. Ask me to do it again and again. Ask me go to anywhere, to speak to anyone, to do anything. But please, dear God, don’t ask me to be still.
God is faithful and will not let you be tempted beyond your ability. (excerpt from 1 Corinthians 10:13)
Oh really, God. Explain my left leg to me. My left leg is the common enemy of the quiet and reverent and focused who find themselves in my presence. Since childhood it has had a tendency to bounce if I am seated. A gentle but relentless bounce. It was during a grade nine English exam where I first noticed its automated persistence. A classmate, inconveniently a gorgeous classmate who loved French and cats and drama club, and thus who I had a crush on, snapped. “OH MY GOD, can you please sit still!” she exclaimed into the silent void of fourteen-year-olds suffering their Dickensian plight of analysing Dickensian plots. I would note that contrary to what I would have hoped at the start of that exam, she is not now my wife. I presume she has since made a quiet home with a quiet, still husband. The distracting, bouncing left leg has not matured into stillness in the intervening decades or degrees or professional experience. It earns me glares on airplanes. Mercifully, the Good Lord has seen fit to place me in a religious tradition where when I sit reverently in front of the entire congregation, I am usually in flowing robes, moderately hiding the persistent distracted irreverence. It is a biological mystery I cannot stop. No doctor has figured it out. Whether or not it has a biological link to my mental health, I do not presume to know, but it is sort of the outward sign of an invisible neuroatypicality. Continue reading »