Noise didn’t used to bother me, but as I’ve grown older, I’ve realized the need for a quiet I've come to crave. I used to live for loud concerts, crazy game nights with friends, movies in the theater, and the list goes on. Don’t get me wrong. I still enjoy those things, but far less than I enjoy the moments of quiet I now invest in. In this ever-increasingly loud world, we have somehow forgotten to include moments of quiet in our days. I see the eye rolls and the bobbing heads. Some of you are agreeing with this deep longing and universal need. Others are frustrated because you can’t for the life of you figure out how to slip one more thing into your already hectic schedule. I get it, I do. However, finding quiet time should be a necessity you fit into your day, despite the multiple distractions that vie for your attention. Incessant noise, constant disruptions, overwhelming obligations, and social media… Yes, I went there. All of these things aren’t necessarily bad, but it’s when they begin to take away from and distract us from our relationship with God that they may become more than we bargained for. Finding quiet when life gets loud is a daily struggle, but it’s one I believe you can overcome. Those moments may seem golden and rare, but I promise you will learn to find them, no matter the crazy, and no matter where you are.
In Psalm 46:10, we are told, “Be still and know that I am God.” In the Old Testament, Moses practiced solitude. He regularly spent time alone with God. (Exodus 33:7, 11). Jesus also practiced the art of quiet. In the New Testament, withdrawing to pray to God and spend time alone was a regular rhythm of Jesus’ life. If He felt the need, why don’t we?
In our journey of Selah, we are going to learn the basic, but necessary, art of quiet. What does it look like? How can you learn it and incorporate it into your personal and spiritual life? How can you use small moments to connect with a big God? I’m not even talking about making things happen, or being productive. Leave your Bible study for another time. Be silent. Be still. Pause, and listen. It may seem hard at first, but start small. Have a plan. Get rid of as many distractions as you can. For some, that may mean placing electronic devices in a special basket. You may find it easier to have quiet time by pairing it with some of your favorite things (soft music, scented candles, a favorite place indoors or outdoors, comfy seat, fireplace, warm blanket, hazelnut coffee). You might take a pen and paper with you to record thoughts or prayers. Don’t think about what you write, just write. Acknowledge God and thank Him. Do it, and do it regularly. Short moments, or long moments, but Invite God to share in those moments with you.
Life is full of pauses. Have you monitored yours? Allow yourself moments of solitude to gain perspective. Understand that you’re not in this alone, and that God is in control. Allow Him to fill you with His peace. Sit back, be still, and learn the art of quiet. What will you hear?