Growing up, I found myself hanging with friends in the neighborhood that were a couple years older than me. The age difference wasn’t really felt though… until my friends started going to high school and driving, while I was still in middle school.

They were so cool! They could drive, go out with friends, stay out later, and all kinds of things that middle school me thought were amazing. But we all remember what happened, right? We all got to be teenagers and then we were all disappointed. It wasn’t quite as cool as it seemed, was it?

Being an adult is pretty much the same. We section up life into different stages, so that we’re able to check one off when we move into the next:

  • Graduate high school
  • Graduate college
  • Find a career
  • Get married
  • Make money, buy things, win at life, etc.

Unfortunately, all we end up doing is chasing after the next step. When we’re single, we can’t wait to be with someone. When we’re in school, we can’t wait to be out. When we buy a house, we can’t wait to get a bigger one.

Maybe you don’t know what you’re next step is. Maybe you’ve spent some time thinking and praying about what’s next for your life and you just don’t have a totally clear answer yet.

Have you ever considered that the answer may be to be still?

I know it sounds crazy. I know it sounds unproductive and ineffective. But God honors our “stillness.”

“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.”
Psalm 46:10

Sometimes we get so caught up in the doing and the being that we forget to take time to stand still and be in awe of God. So here’s how we can use these moments to move forward:

1. Get Your Goals In Check

Your next step shouldn’t create a ton of stress. If it’s hard for you to think about standing still and not doing something for a moment, ask yourself, “Am I taking steps closer to Jesus, or steps closer to my own desires?”

2. Ask Lots of Questions

Just like in any other relationship, communication is important is your relationship with Jesus. Ask Him questions about your current circumstances. You may not get a direct answer, but God does give us all the answers we need (Jeremiah 29:13, Matthew 7:8).

3. Take Time To Listen

The Bible tells us that Jesus wants us to rest. Without rest, there is just too much that is going on around us that it may be canceling out the voice of God in your life. We were designed to rest, and it gives us life when we do so (Mark 2:23-28).

4. Obey God

Listening to what God says is one thing, but putting it into action is another. After you’ve prayed, asked, and listened, you have to be willing to actually do what God tells you.

When we want to be in another stage or on a different next step, standing still is hard, but that’s why we have to take the best next step—even if that means standing still and learning from this current stage.