Sometimes I don’t realize how noisy and hectic my life is until I have an opportunity to slow down and be quiet.
This past week I have been in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. What a contrast to New York City, where I had been before that.
City noises are a constant assault on the ears.
I endured the whack, whack, whack from the construction site opposite our hotel every morning. It was so loud I thought the window was open. But, no. As I pressed the catch to slide back the pane of glass, a cacophony of city sounds swept in like a tsunami. Car engines roared in the street below. Taxi horns honked repeatedly. Air conditioning units buzzed, and every so often police sirens pierced the air.
I buried my head under the covers, in an effort to create a haven.
Yet, in the mountains, barely any noise comes in the open windows. Only the cool mountain air swirls in making a slight breeze across my face. I see deep blue sky between the slats of the blind and small dots of un-melted snow nestled in the hollows on the mountaintops.
Only the occasional sounds of a door closing, an engine starting up indicates some other person is awake as early as myself.
I jump out of bed, eager to make the most of the day. Not something I normally do … just ask my family.
Most of us don’t experience these two extremes of literal noise, but our lives often become noisy with activities and our to-do-list. How do we balance our lives, especially as most of us are about to ramp up to a busy period following the summer months?
How can we be deliberate about taking time out to be quiet?
Being in the mountains reminds me of how Jesus went up the mountain to pray.
Jesus knew the importance of taking time out from a busy schedule. In constant demand by crowds of people wherever he went, Jesus, like us, needed to escape to be still.
Quietness and prayer—his is a good example to follow.
You might not be able to get to the mountains, but Jesus didn’t always go there every time he needed to get away from it all. Instead, he found a quiet place to be alone and to talk with his heavenly Father. Here are some fresh ways you can take time out of your busy day to be quiet.
- Establish a “bedtime buffer zone.” Fifteen minutes before bedtime, turn off the TV, put aside your electronic devices and spend some time praying. Or create a “morning zone” where you spend a few minutes turning your day over to God.
- Get away with some friends. Pick a nice restaurant and go for coffee and dessert in the afternoon, between the lunch and dinner rush, and have some encouraging girl talk. Commit to praying for each other.
- Turn off the noise. As you drive to work or run errands, turn off the radio in your car and listen for what God may say to you in the quiet.
I’ll soon be back in the buzz of it again. Like you, I will need to be deliberate about creating hushed spaces in my day to connect with my family, friends and God.
How do you do it? Share your most creative tips for finding quiet in your life.