“Life is loud. You need to search out the quiet.” (Holly Gerth)
Life is noisy! It’s busy and it’s fast. There’s always something to be done, people to see, places to go. But in the rush of 21st Century living we need to learn to search out the quiet. We need to give our souls the opportunity to breathe. To find the peace, to find the rest and embrace it.
It is in the quiet places that we can hear the tenderest of whispers from God. It is in the quiet that we learn that life is more about being than doing. In the stillness we discover afresh that God’s love for us is for who we are not what we do. It is in the quiet that our soul finds rest. And it is God’s intention that in our daily lives we would find it.
It says in Psalm 23 that “He leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul.” Or as the Message Bible puts it “You let me catch my breath.” God wants us to pause, to rest. To relax into His protection and comfort.
In the quiet our soul is restored.
“Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.” (Psalm 116:7)
Sitting here now at my desk I can hear a plane flying overhead, the hum of the dishwasher. If I incline my ear though I can hear the birds outside, the rustling of the wind through the trees and the wind itself. And as I continue to pause, to embrace the quiet I become aware of the Presence of the Lord around me. And I know “surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life.” (Psalm 23:6)
It is in the quiet that our soul finds its equilibrium again – it finds its rest in God.
“Yes, my soul, find rest in God” (Psalm 62:5)
Cities are noisy. If you start listening intentionally to the background noise,you realise there’s a lot of noisy activity from cars, buses, trains to lawn mowers, building works, road works. It’s hard to hear the rustling of trees or the cicadas.
This week I escaped away from the city for a couple of days. On one of the days I walked up to a peninsula head and had a picnic lunch. I enjoyed the view of the surrounding bays, the islands, the sea. I also enjoyed the quiet. So quiet, so peaceful. But when I paid attention to the quiet, I realised I could hear the sound of the sea lapping at the beaches below me. I could hear the sound of the sea ebbing and flowing in the rock inlets. Combined was a beautiful symphony of water with different rhythms. It reminded me of he music you hear when watching discovery programmes of fish, or music that is played at Day Spas.
Sometimes in life we need to turn down the chatter of life around us, (and sometimes in us!) in order to intentionally tune into the quiet voice of God and to what He is saying to us at the moment. He always has something to say to us, it’s just that sometimes we can’t hear Him over the noise of life. He is always speaking to us. But like the noise of the city can drown out the sounds of nature, so it is when our lives get too busy, noisy we can drown out the voice of God. He doesn’t stop speaking.
In that case we don’t need a weekend break from the city (although I highly recommend it!), we need a spiritual break where we can tune into God. It’s a case of turning down the noise of life for a period – getting off social media, turning the phone and tv off, getting away from distractions, and then intentionally listening.
I intentionally paused and listened to the sound of silence and heard the symphony of water. It was glorious, beautiful, serene.
“And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore the mountains and broke in pieces the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire the sound of a low whisper.” (1 Kings 19:11-12)
(The photo above is taken from my walk)