Quietness. What is that! When was the last time you experienced quietness? I suppose that is why I love one good ice storm per year. It makes us slow down and reflect; it imposes quietness on us we will not impose on ourselves willingly. A walk along the sandy shores. A walk in the park. Arising at early dawn to just sit and listen. Oh, how we cherish those moments.
We cannot be the people God wants us to be without times of quietness. Stillness is an essential part of growing deeper as we grow older. We will not become men of God without the presence of solitude.
Remember those words next time we get caught on life’s treadmill. And, when we make the turn for the home stretch of the week to meet the deadlines of demands. Alas, we are geared too high. Thanks to Alka-Seltzer, Excedrin, No-Doze, and Rolaids, we repeat our nonproductive haste with monotonous regularity. Peter Marshall said, “We are in such a hurry, we hate to miss one panel of a revolving door.”
Talk about pollution! Just think about what our nervous systems undergo just to stay afloat: Noise (music, talk, laughter, machinery, appliances, phones, social media and traffic) from 6:00 A.M. till midnight. Speed (bumper to bumper traffic at 65 mph, on-ramps, and off-ramps, deadlines and appointments) that makes us frown rather than smile …, that causes us to check our watches more often than we check in with our Lord. Activities (meetings, services, suppers, luncheons, breakfasts, rallies, and clubs – all “necessary” and “nice”) that have a way of dismissing quietness like an unwanted guest. Sure – some things are important – super, in fact – but not everything. Listen, if we really treasure quietness, we will make time for it. When you feed it only the “leftovers” of the schedule, it always goes hungry.
There is an ingredient that cannot be ignored much longer in our lives without paying a dear price). I am desperately concerned that we slow down, quiet down and gear down our lives so intermittently each week, we rarely carve out time for quietness, solitude, thought, prayer, meditation, and soul searching. Oh, how such agitation will begin to fade away … how insignificant petty differences will seem … how big our view of God will become and how small our troubles will seem! Security, peace, and confidence will move right on. “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalms 46:10, NIV).
Isaiah said it this way, “And the work of righteousness will be peace, and the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever. Then my people will live in a peaceful habitation, and in secure dwellings and in undisturbed resting places” (Isa. 32:17-18).
God longs for our full and undivided attention. He waits to be wanted. He will wait and wait and wait until we finally sit in silence before Him and commune with Him through prayer and His word.
Let’s begin today to set aside one evening to read our Bibles, pray and reflect on our life with God. Take at least a 15 minute walk and commune with God’s creation. While the kids take a nap, take 15 minutes and just be quiet. Sit still. Set responsibilities aside. Pray and let God, through His word, speak to us. Is this impossible?
by Rickie Jenkins