Do you ever get tired of all the noise?
Throughout the day we are confronted with many kinds of noise. Questions from children, dings from an email waiting to be checked, and cars bustling along the streets by our homes.
And we’ve gotten used to it. We don’t really notice half of the clamor around us, it doesn’t sink in.
Sometimes this is a good thing. It would be pretty awful to live in a city and be distracted every time a car went by or a child was playing in the yard next door.
However, there are times that quiet is needed, that it is necessary in fact, for our physical and emotional health.
Our generation is overloaded with noise and information, and it’s not always healthy. Many people are overwhelmed by how much email they get and checking phones has become like an addiction.
I don’t know about you all, but I often find myself tired and stressed out. I forget to take breaks, I forget to rest, I forget to stop taking information in.
This year I’m focusing on my need for reflection. Instead of filling my head with more, more, more, I want to take the time to weed through what is there and give myself time to latch onto what is important.
And funny enough…I can’t do this unless I have a quiet place.
Having a quiet place helps us to get away from all of the noise and information that surrounds us. It gives us a way to calm our minds. It can be a place where everything that is clattering around our heads can be let go. Where what is really important can be sorted from what is just taking up mental space.
Along with slowing down, we need a quiet place that we can go and listen to God without having technology and distractions around us.
The Bible gives us many examples of people who removed themselves from ordinary distractions, even ordinary life, to have quiet time with the Lord.
John the Baptist lived in the wilderness for a time. Mark 1:35 says, referring to Jesus, “rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.”
Even Jesus, who was perfect and didn’t have the distraction of technology, found the need for a quiet place. A place to be alone with His Father and be quiet before Him.
Now, I’m going to be honest, this is really hard for me. I don’t like to take time to be alone and quiet. I want to go out, to get things done! I want to be productive! Spending time in a quiet place just to reflect feels like I’m wasting my time.
And maybe that’s part of the problem. I (and many of us!) are so addicted to doing and getting things done, that we’ve neglected to be still. To be in God’s presence and just listen.
So how can you find a quiet place?
First off, a quiet place needs to be free of technology. Reflection and prayer just aren’t going to happen as you sit at your computer or have the tv on in the background.
Go somewhere where you can be free of your electronics and the temptation to check facebook just one more time.
A quiet place can be anywhere, your front porch or a corner of the couch. The winters down here in Virginia are cold enough that my quiet place has to be inside. Right now I have a chair in our bedroom that I curl up in on cold mornings. Once the summer rolls around, I might take a beach towel and go down by our neighbors’ pond.
Either way, each of my quiet places are relatively solitary and don’t have any technology lying around to distract me.
A note to moms here: I know you’re probably thinking that I’m crazy, and that with a house full of little ones there isn’t a quiet place to be found. I freely admit that I am not a mom yet, so I don’t have to deal with that, but I do have a couple of suggestions if you find yourself surrounded by toddlers.
The first option is to go to your quiet place while your children are sleeping. You can get up before them, or go to your quiet place while they’re napping, whatever works best for you. Since you’ll need to stay in the house, you can try to find a comfy chair or maybe sit by your window, whatever space you’re in, claim it as your quiet space and make sure to spend some time there frequently (moms of little ones definitely need the break!)
The second option requires a bit more creativity. If you’re at a stage where some of your kids don’t take naps or you can’t possibly get up before them, it can be next to impossible to have a completely quiet space. Maybe you and your children can have 10-15 minutes of quiet time in the afternoon where they read or do something to occupy themselves. Maybe your spouse can watch them for a bit while you do your devotions. If you find something that seems to work for you, go with it!
Now that we’ve talked about why you need a quiet place and how to find one, it’s time for you to get off the computer and go be still in your quiet place!
Seriously, the benefits of having a quiet place to reflect and recharge are huge. Spending regular time reflecting and letting go of anxieties and stress can have a great impact on the way you go about your day. Instead of feeling overdrawn, you can feel renewed and ready for the rest of your day.
I know that I always feel better when I take time during the day to be still and pray, reflecting on what has happened and looking forward to what is ahead.
Don’t let the busy pace of life convince you that you don’t have time to be quiet. Find your quiet place and let your mind and heart rest.