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Satisfaction in Stillness

Satisfaction in Stillness

by Eddie Trygar

This year, I have been working through a devotional called New Morning Mercies by Paul Tripp. This morning, I read something I have known for a long time but heard it in a new way. Tripp writes, “If you give your heart to seeking satisfaction, satisfaction will be the one thing you’ll never find... Whenever you name something in creation as the thing that will bring you satisfaction, you are asking that thing to be your personal savior.”

My job as Assistant Principal changed a great deal with the quarantine. My job normally consists of handling student behavior issues, administering state tests, analyzing data, teacher observations and evaluations. Overnight, it became training teachers on technology and deploying meals and packets of schoolwork. It has been a busy season with a steep learning curve. But the increased work wasn’t the problem. The increased stillness was.

I have always struggled with anxiety. My mind automatically calculates worst-case scenarios when it is quiet and I am still. So, while not at work, I have busied myself with podcasts (I am so thankful for the What’s the Point podcast), yard projects (building a deck, cutting down trees, etc.), and lots of movies when I’m not at work.

Recently, I listened to a podcast that highlighted a study of boredom being conducted at the University of Florida. Patients were left alone in a room with an electrode attached to their ankle for 15 minutes with no magazines, phones, or people to talk to. They were told that the button on the wall would shock them if it was pressed. 66% of those tested shocked themselves during that 15 minutes. When asked why, the answer was because they needed something to do!

My first reaction was to laugh at people who would rather take a self-inflicted electric shock than sit still with their thoughts for 15 minutes. But then I realized: I am no different. I can’t drive to work (about 10 minutes) without the radio or a podcast on. I don’t like to sit still. I am always looking for things to accomplish from mowing the lawn to organizing the garage.

God has convicted me that accomplishing tasks and keeping my mind busy are things I have named that will satisfy me. The last 3 months has highlighted that this isn’t working. I need Jesus to still my heart. I am asking Him to help me enjoy where He has me in this moment. Soon this time of stillness will lift.

But I pray the satisfaction found in my Savior never does.

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