We live in a noisy world.
Media delivers a non-stop monologue. And blessed people whom God has placed in our lives—those who know us as mom, dad, husband, wife, grandma, grandpa, coworker, boss, friend, fellow church member, or passerby—often call for our attention. Sounds from traffic, airplanes, and construction crews also intrude upon our peaceful moments.
And if outside noise isn’t enough, there’s also a whole lot of noise in our heads. Sometimes that noise productive, because it reminds us of important stuff we need to do. But most of the time, it’s just environmental overflow from the hubbub around us. It elbows and forces its way into the quiet spots in our heads.
Today I’d like to share three reasons we need quiet times in our lives:
1. Quiet allows us to hear God’s voice.
As I study God’s word, I see times when God thunders from the sky or shouts through a storm. Most often, however, God speaks to people in the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit in our souls.
Think of Elijah on the mountaintop and David in the open fields, or Daniel in his prayer closet and Jesus during his early morning worship times. Sometimes God shouts over the din of our lives, but often we struggle to hear God’s voice through the chaos around us.
As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Let us be silent, that we may hear the whisper of God.”
2. Quiet allows us to hear our voice.
Quiet spaces in our minds are open fields where God can plant the seeds of creativity and inspiration. When we still ourselves, turn off our devices, and wait in quiet reflection, it’s amazing what we are able to think.
On a recent early-morning walk in the woods, I cleared my mind of clutter and invited the Lord into my consciousness. As my thoughts wandered, I began to connect scripture with an idea for a blog post. Then I thought of a lovely gift idea for my daughter for Christmas. Before the walk had ended, I had the solution to a problem I’d been wrestling with, another blog post idea, and the basis for a women’s ministry presentation.
Peter Drucker, an Austrian-American businessman, encouraged people to follow effective action with quiet reflection, because that reflection will lead to even more action. Building times of quiet thought into our days allows us to hear our own voices and leaves room for our creativity to blossom.
3. Quiet restores our souls.
Psalm 23 reminds us that God, the Good Shepherd, invites us to lie down in green pastures, leads us beside still waters, and restores our souls. Listen to the words the psalmist chose to describe the place where God refreshes us: lie down (not race around), green pastures (not black asphalt), and still waters (not raging rivers). Peaceful, hushed places, whether they’re on the top of a mountain or the corner or your bedroom, are restorative and invigorating.
Keep in mind that the place is less important than the presence. When we carve out time to sit in stillness before the Lord, we gain a fresh perspective, spiritual energy for the day, and hope for the future.
I hope by now you’re convinced that intentional periods of quiet are healthy, productive, and necessary. This week, why not intentionally carve out time each day, as an unknown writer encouraged, to “make time for the quiet moments, as God whispers, and the world is loud.”