Are you familiar with the toy Stretch Armstrong? The primary purpose of Stretch is to allow a child to pull him in multiple directions — by the arms, legs and head. I have no idea what the goo in the middle of the toy is that allows for such flexibility, but it works incredibly well. Stretch is almost impossible to pull so far that he breaks.

People are not like Stretch Armstrong. We get over-stimulated, excessively communicated, underappreciated and unmotivated. When people are pulled in too many directions, we will break. And repairing a broken person is much more complicated than mending a rip in a stretchable doll.

The importance of getting alone with God is emphasized in the Old and New Testaments as a reminder that God is, well, God. Despite our noise and troubles, God remains on the throne. Despite the pulls on our attention and the stresses of day to day, God wants to be with us.

“Be still, and know that I am God…”
— Psalm 46:10

“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”
— Exodus 14:14

“Now then, stand still and see this great thing the Lord is about to do before your eyes!”
— 1 Samuel 12:16

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
— Mark 1:35

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.”
— Matthew 26:36

Spending time quietly with the Lord hits the pause button on our frequently insane pace of life. It allows him to speak to us, encourage us, convict us, comfort us and strengthen us. He reminds us that we are full of the Spirit when we are wrongly focused on the complications of life.

People were transfixed with the eclipse last week. Offices, homes, and classrooms emptied to allow curious people wearing goofy glasses to stare at the sun. Travelers came from around the world to sit in the “path of totality” to experience the unique occurrence to the fullest. Humankind, for a brief period of time, was looking up expectantly.

Don’t be like Stretch Armstrong. Carve out time today to stand still and look at the glory of the Son.

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