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.
Linking up with Susan Mead at #DanceWithJesus, Holley Gerth at #CoffeeForYourHeart and Dawn Klinge at #GraceandTruth
I’m from Atlanta. Freeway noises, sirens, an endless pothole parade of jackhammers and construction. I loved it! Now put me in the suburbs, so quiet I though the train noises were a tornado. Click, oh just the air conditioning. Occasionally, someone mows the lawn. I’m making myself sleepy. That is what we desire, that deep rest and peace from God, whether drowning out the loud or rousing your quiet, there is solace in classical music, not that I’m an expert but it soothes soul. Probably better for rush hour than talk radio.
I must admit I do love being in the city. I lived in London for a long time before coming to the States.
I have taken up the hobby of “coloring” in books. This time gives me double peace. Choosing colors that compliment each other and how they “play” of each other is quieting, interesting and fun. But when in act of coloring my mind and soul “talks” with Jesus. Some of the most intense times with Jesus as been in this method. It seems all else is blocked out of my mind. The act of coloring itself is mindless. This is one way to “get away to a quiet place” to commune with my Savior.
Thanks Challis. I love this. I have not tried coloring, but your description how it allows you to spend time with Jesus is just really special. Isn’t it amazing how he can speak to us and be with us when we are quiet.
Oh, how hard this is! I crave quiet, and it’s been so hard to come by this summer with three kids home 🙂 But making time is key. Choices are key. And how much better we feel when we do. Thanks for the encouragement today!
I have three kids, too. They are college-age and they’re all home at the moment. Even though they’re older, it can still be crazy busy. Hope you find some quiet when they go back to school.
I love quiet! Which is quite good actually since I live alone 🙂 but it’s a necessity for my soul to recharge. Your days in the mountains sounded divine and I love the tips you offer to sit in silence. That is such a rarity these days. And that’s what can offer the opportunity to hear what God might want to say to us!
I’m glad you love quiet, Valerie, and embrace it in your life. Sometimes, I think it’s hard for people and they shy away from it.
I’m in a season where God has set me aside and there is this gift of having lots of time for the quieter moments. Time to breath deeply and listen for His voice and His leading. It truly is refreshing and it makes me more aware of how busy we have become as a society and how so many people simply don’t make the necessary time to hear from God. It leaves us stressed out and depleted and we waste so much time struggling in our own strength.
Such wisdom in your comment, Deanna. Thank you.
Sounds like a lovely place to be. I agree with the ideas of turning off the noise. Sometimes silence is so golden. And strange if U aren’t used to it.
Yes, it can take a bit of time getting used to a change of pace, especially slowing down.
I like activity and the hustle and bustle of life, but I need a balance. Your Colorado experience sounds amazing!
Hoping you find the balance you need, Sarah.