How doing the ‘mannequin challenge’ can make your life better

By Miles McPherson

The ‘mannequin challenge’ is the latest Internet sensation. Several well-known sports teams have participated, including the NFL’s New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys, the US Soccer WNT, the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, and the NCAA’s TCU Football team. If you don’t know what this is, do yourself a favor and click on one of those links to get up to speed!

Basically, people freeze in position while the cameraman or woman moves quickly through the crowd, capturing a video that makes the subjects look like mannequins. The best videos involve famous people in recognizable locations holding difficult or improbable stances or positions.

I don’t know about you, but I find it hilarious that, in a super fast-paced world, the latest fad is to see who can stand still the best! Could it be that we’re (indirectly) acknowledging that we all need to slow down a little?

According to the US Department of Labor, the average American spends almost nine hours of their day at work, almost eight hours sleeping, and two and a half hours on leisure activities and sports. Those three categories account for 79% of the average American’s time. And what do we do with our extra time? Well, a recent survey showed that young adults check their smartphones an average of 85 times a day—consuming up to five and a half hours per day!

Trying to cram as much productivity into the constraints of our 24-hour days, we often make the mistake of neglecting our priorities. Faith, family, and rest can be forced to take a backseat to all the “stuff” in our lives.

I want to invite you to a personal, daily, mannequin challenge.

But the Bible says in Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God…” It’s good to be productive in life—I’m not condemning hard work. But the truth is that we will only be able to fully acknowledge and revere God correctly when we’re still. It requires slowing. Stopping. Freezing—like a mannequin.

Part of the struggle is that we see the pace that others live their lives at, and we want to match or, better yet, outperform them. Many of us are doing our best to fit in and keep up with the Joneses. We want that job, that car, that house, those clothes, that body—so we push ourselves to the limit trying to attain what we see that other people have.

Philippians 4:6 says Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I invite you to establish a quiet or ‘mannequin’ time each day when you are still before God. It is then that you can ask Him for wisdom, affirmation, direction, and most of all, His peace to protect your heart.

Give yourself a day of rest each week to recharge yourself. Even God rested on the seventh day of creation.

I’m confident that if you take the Mannequin Challenge everyday, you will find your heart less anxious and your life more peaceful.