Quiet

Children aren’t afraid to talk with God, about God, or tell you stories that include God. There is an instinctive place in their heart that is open to godly things. I have experienced this in my own family and in the little ones at church. Author, Robert Benson in his book, Between the Dreaming and Coming True gives and example of this instinctive notion, “A four-year-old girl was overheard whispering into her baby brother’s ear, “‘Baby,” she whispers, “tell me what God sounds like. I am starting to forget.”

Have you become like the little girl? Have you forgotten what God sounds like? The noise of our world is drowning out the voice of God. Consider your day. Is it full of noise? Does the radio, TV, Internet, iPods, iPhones, iPads or other communication devices clutter your mind with excess noise? Even good things can become clutter if they distract us from times of quiet.

Quiet time with God requires listening, and listening is hard work. It takes energy, patience, time, effort, and most of all, silence. And, while most of us are okay with the energy, patience, time and effort part, we are jolted at the thought of being silent and quickly find ways of filling the uneasy void.

In silence, the things we have repressed and pushed away—the hurts, pains, rejections and failures—come rushing back. In silence, worry and fear linger strangely near us. But consider the blessing that awaits us because God is the friend of silence. Elijah learned this while hiding away in a cave. Expecting God to show Himself in loud and magnificent ways, Elijah was offered instead the still, small voice of God. Psalm 46:10 reads, “Be still and know that I am God.” The truth is, good and godly things are birthed in the quiet that cannot be heard in the racket of our overly vocal existence.

Let me challenge you to “unplug.” Leave the cell phone and iPod at home and take a walk. Resist the temptation to speak. Walk in silence and ask God to speak to you. Become aware of the small joys you may have forgotten, like the sound of children playing in the distance, the sound of a bird or squirrel chattering in a tree, or even listen to your own heartbeat.

The silence of a quiet time can be deafening. It can be threatening or even terrifying. But it can also be healing, purifying, life-giving and restorative.

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