The emergency room doctor at St. Mary’s Medical Center in San Francisco perused my x-rays, throat culture and other gathered data. She shook her head, stared at her notes and said aloud, “You’ve got conjunctivitis, laryngitis, a viral throat and sinus infection, as well as pneumonia. You’ve got a lot going on.” In my mind, that was an understatement. Beyond my vivid sense of illness, I had a lot going on in my life. I was completing a church-wide retreat for Nineteenth Avenue Baptist Church in San Francisco, my granddaughter was two weeks away from her first birthday party, I’m scheduled to teach a class for Columbia Seminary and the weeks that follow are filled with meetings with Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, the Baptist World Alliance and back to California to lead a Summer Youth Camp. All of that is in addition to the usual schedule of preaching, meeting, visiting and moving around First Baptist Greenville. Yeah…I’ve got a lot going on…

My family physician made room in his schedule to see me upon my return to Greenville, SC. He surveyed the analysis and conclusions of his west coast contemporaries. He glanced at prescribed antibiotics and nodded with approval. I interrupted his thought process and inquired, “When am I going to feel better and be able to go back to work?” He stared at me for a moment…and then began his lecture, “Did you know that prior to the invention of antibiotics, numerous people suffered from pneumonia? And did you know that most people who contracted pneumonia lived; they did not die. Do you now why? They rested until they were well.” He paused and then gave his best medical advice, “You need to stop talking and stop moving.”

I’ve been quiet and still for days. It’s given me a lot of time to think… and remember words the Psalmist recorded for us, “Be still and know that I am God.” Sometimes the best way to get through the difficulties of life is to stop the expenditure of our own energy, be quiet, be still and let God do God’s good work. Not sure what you’re struggling with this week, but I’m going to pass on the words of a good physician and a stellar Psalmist – stop talking and stop moving…

— Jim