How long since you’ve been quiet? Really quiet. How long since you sat still and surrounded yourself with silence? Just you and the space around you. No companion (except for our omni-present God), no cell phone, no computer, no music, no tv, no talking. Alone with your thoughts in a silent space.
Does that sound like bliss to you, or does the idea scare you silly? As I watch the people around me, I get the idea many are afraid to be quiet.
Look at us:
The constant, forced activity… (It’s one of my pet peeves that parents think they must fill every moment of a child’s day with regulated activity.)
The cell phone pasted to every other ear or clutched in every hand…
The “conversations” which consist of people talking in steadily increasing volume and never really listening to one another…
The “music” playing at a painful and dangerous decibel level…
The people rushing at top speed to get from one activity to another before they’re late…
And everybody seems to be late for something. Nobody “has time” to eat, to sleep, to breathe, to think, to become, to BE.
I am reminded of Madeleine L’Engle’s book, A Wind in the Door, when the little farandolae screamed ever louder and whirled ever faster and refused to stop and Deepen. Okay, you’ll have to read to book to see the whole story. Let’s just say that a refusal to be still and quiet was nearly fatal. Is that happening to us? Are we whirling and screaming ourselves into a bad ending?
Certainly the God who created us knows the value of quietness. Look at these verses:
Psalm 37:7 “Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!”
Psalm 46:10 “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
1Timothy 2:2 [Paul advises Timothy to pray] “for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way.”
Proverbs 17:1 “Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife.”
So, I challenge you to give quietness a fair trial. It may not be easy at first. Practice it. Don’t give up. Drop some unnecessary busy-ness. Take or make some time each day to be in a quiet place, turn off the electronics and stay still. Pray. Read your Bible. Take a look into your own heart and brain. You may be pleasantly surprised to see what imaginative and helpful things have been lurking in your head–things that weren’t able to get a word out because of constant noise. Learn to be comfortable with the you inside your head. Be still and know that God IS.