Two summers ago I went to Santiago, Chile, with my husband, who travels to speak about his work. We have chopsticks from China, bowls from Africa, books on Brasilian architecture. We scout out trips for me to join him on, ones with few social events so we can spend time on our own. He was told there were no plans for him in Chile, save his talk. So I went along.
But just after we arrived on a red-eye flight, there was a call from Luis, who was in the lobby and would be taking us to lunch in an hour. Luis and Marcela not only took us to lunch, but also to a vineyard, another lunch, a dinner performance of traditional Chilean dances, complete with authentic dress from the different regions of Chile, . . . they had planned several events and excursions each day for us and the other speakers who had traveled there.
And the whole time I was apologizing—apologizing for bowing out of dinners so we could grab a date or apologizing for my rusty college Spanish or for getting lost in translation. And the word these generous people kept saying to me was “Tranquilo.”
Tranquilo. They would press their hands down gently as they said it. Tranquilo. Be still, don’t worry, be tranquil, be calm. Be, just be. I was trying to be someone other than who I am, to be fluent, to be perfect, to be grateful enough, but I was being told to be still, to slow down, to taste, to feel, to enjoy.
I want to bring that word back to Nashville, back to my every-day hustle and bustle of carpools and lunch-packing and sports and the mental Tetris of manning the calendars. At the end of the day, will my husband and children remember my frantic rushing or my stillness in actually hearing and seeing and enjoying them, even when things don’t go according to my plan?
I get swept up in the fast pace when God is urging me all along to be still and know: Know that he is God, he is good, he is God of the details, God of time, God of all I leave undone, God of all the broken pieces. I can trust him and be—be who he made me and meant me to be—still.