In Teresa Tomeo’s new book, “God’s Bucket List,” she challenges us to forget our own to-do lists and consider what God would put on our bucket list. Essentially, she’s invoking the age-old idea of getting out of your own way and turning your life over to God. In a recent interview, she put it this way: “If God’s your co-pilot, you’d better changes seats! He should be the pilot!”
That’s certainly a path I’ve been on over the last year or two. So I wanted to stop and ponder each of the items that Teresa considers are likely on God’s Bucket List for most and see how I’m doing. No. 1 on the list? Live with stillness. She quotes from scripture, “Be still and know that I am God.” — Psalm 46:10.
I have always sought stillness and solitude in my life. I’ve never been much for noise and loudness. Since childhood, I was the quiet person — the one you could find curled up in a chair with a good book rather than out at the neighborhood party.
Growing up and into my 20’s I could find that quiet and silence when I needed it without any demands on my time except my early jobs and my boyfriend, now husband. I explored yoga and meditation and ventured down the new age path of philosophies and communion with God.
When I had my kids, my silence pretty much got flushed down the toilet! And that was a huge challenge for me — and still is. My kiddos, both boys, pretty much make noise constantly whether actual words or just “noise” and silliness. My youngest is quite the talker and since he was a baby was literally always “saying” something.
So stillness is how God “hooked” me into the Catholic church. He called me there and I went, and after I experienced the peace and solitude, I kept coming back for more and more.
I was truly surprised at how much emphasis the Catholic church puts on meditation, reflection and silence in the presence of God. It reminded me a lot of my new age experiences. I love meditation, which I had already honed in my yoga and other practices, but with the focus on Jesus and in the presence of the Eucharist, it reaches its true fulfillment. Once you truly learn how to let go of the world around you, the joy and peace that wells up inside during meditation is unmatchable.
So now I try to attend daily mass whenever I can, spend time in the Blessed Sacrament as often as possible, pray multiple times daily and do spiritual reading at home. When my body is screaming for quiet, these activities refill my tank, so I can be noisy with my family without pulling my hair out. 🙂
“He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.” — Psalm 23:2, one of my favorite verses.
If you can be still, this is where you will “hear” God. I have been called to do many things during the still times of my life that I would have missed had I not taken the time to slow down and listen.
How are you doing with bucket list item No. 1? Please share!