Sunday, August 7, 2011

Shhhhhhhhh!

Psalm 46:10
He says, "Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth."

When I was teaching and raising two teenagers, peace and quiet were hard to come by. From the moment I awoke to the minute I went to bed, it seemed, my weekdays were a perpetual cacophony and the weekends weren't much better. From my son practicing guitar (loudly!) to the radio blaring in the car, from the mindless chatter on the television to the equally silly banter of teenaged girls, there was always a constant backdrop of noise. I developed a knack for tuning most of it out, but that, I discovered, was a far cry from the true silence I thought I longed for. I say "thought" because when the first opportunity arose to embrace them, I found stillness and silence to be unnerving. I couldn't even properly work on my novel without classical music playing softly in the background. I had to face it - I was addicted to noise!

Overcoming this addiction has been a gradual process. It started the autumn after I resigned from my teaching position; everyone was either at work or at school, and I had the entire, quiet, peaceful house to myself. Little by little, this reposeful solitude seeped into my soul, urging me to be still, to see distractions for what they were and let them go. Even though I accomplished many things each day, I felt as though my pace had slowed and the stress and tension hangover from the former clamor I'd become so used to began to melt away. I found that I was spending more time in Bible study, in prayer, and in writing. I, delightedly, felt God's presence more palpably and genuinely in my life than ever before; it was in my being still that I have come to know Him best.

Today, resolve to take time to be still, to be silent before the Lord and know that He is God.

Readings
Psalms 66, 67 or 19, 46
2 Samuel 12:1-22
Romans 15:1-13
John 3:22-36

5 comments:

  1. I am on vacation from Him, death has a way of causing a person to question the universe. I leave the door open for possibilities, which is why reading your post today was a pleasure. I think sometimes we do need to be still - much happens in the quiet of our minds.

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  2. Martha, I welcome peace and quiet with open arms. “In quietness and trust is your strength.” Isaiah 30:15. Having embraced stillness and quiet for years now, I find noise bothersome.

    In response to my friend Brenda’s comment, “death has a way of causing a person to question the universe,” yes it does. And physical pain too… and mental anguish… and hardships… and trials…and all the adversities of life. When life gets too overwhelming for me I remind myself of this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSaxNbx_TpE

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  3. Debra, it's nice to know that we share the same love for peace and quiet; I shouldn't be surprised! :) Brenda, I went through that very same thing when I lost my husband in a freak accident 14 years ago. I wanted to shut that door, but God willed it open, even when I didn't want to acknowledge it was there. You are wise to leave yourself open to Him and His presence; I felt so alone and devastated after John died, but now I realize God never once left my side. God bless you!

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  4. I have a ten minute drive to work in the morning and for a long time I'd get into my car and the first thing I'd do is turn the radio on. Like you I was uncomfortable surrounded my silence.

    Silence can be truly divine and I seek out the divine in all of my activities.

    Now, however, I get into my car and relish those ten minutes of quiet time. I spend more time in contemplation at home now too. Used to be the moment I arrived home, the TV would go on.

    Not anymore.

    I find it pleasant to come home, sit down in my most comfortable chair and close my eyes, reflecting on my day. Sometimes I'll pull out the book I'm reading and read for awhile; just decompress from the day!

    Thanks for this reminder. I think we all need to be gently shoved in this direction once in awhile.

    Love what I see from you so far, Martha. I'll be back!
    --
    Chris

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  5. Thank you, Chris, for stopping by and leaving such a thoughtful commentary. I love your description of silence as divine; I truly believe it is. Like you, I have stopped listening to the radio, for the most part, when I drive, and never listen to it or the tv at home unless we are sitting down to share a movie or special show together.
    I, too, attempt to seek out the divine in my activities. The fulfillment in this is unsurpassed!
    I will be looking forward to your latest blog as well, Chris!

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