Enjoying the Journey
This is a busy time of the year. It seems that every season has become a hectic one! So much noise. Beneath the surface our hearts long for quiet – true quiet in a noisy world.
Over the last few days I have been blessed by the writings of S.D. Gordon. He makes me think. His book titles are very revealing: Quiet Talks on Power, Quiet Talks on Prayer, Quiet Talks with World Winners, Quiet Talks on Personal Problems, Quiet Talks on Service…18 volumes of Quiet Talks!
“God is quiet. The earth has grown noisy. Nature is still. There are storm noises and earthquakes, but these are results from disturbances above and below. Both the disturbances and the noises are abnormal, not true to nature. Man has become noisy. God is quiet. Noise reveals weakness; something is out of gear or tune. Sound is rhythm. Noise is discord; it is a result of friction always, a jarring of two or more forces. To a man absorbed in Christian activity, rushing, pushing, with nerves on tension and blood boiling, who wearily turned to God in prayer, there came one day into the inner ear, as he was on bent knees, a Voice speaking with great softness and equally great clearness, ‘Study to be quiet.’ It brought a great hush into his spirit; in the following days it became a veritable sheet-anchor, holding the bark steady in many a storm.”
“Study to be quiet” (1 Thess. 4:11). It is the hardest subject to master. How we need to learn to be quiet in a noisy world! Here are a few suggestions for your study…
- Get your heart quiet in the quiet hours of the morning. Before you check your phone. Before you begin your rat race. Before you get into conversation. Get alone with God. “Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps. 46:10). If you will, you can carry a quiet spirit with you through the day.
- Turn off the radio when you are in the car and ride in silence. Do not be afraid of silence. God speaks loudest in quiet places.
- Remove unnecessary notifications from your mobile phone. You do not need to know every time someone likes your picture or posts an update. Eliminate the rings, dings, chimes, and “noise.”
- Check social media and email at set times instead of all the time. Use it; don’t let it use you. Technology should be a tool, not a companion.
- Do not allow the television to stay on constantly in your home. It is a deceitful distraction and a miserable babysitter. Watch discerningly and purposefully. Limit its influence.
- Find a few quiet moments between meetings and appointments. Five minutes of a lunch break. A brief walk around the block. A moment in the car at the end of the work day before charging in to see your family. You will be amazed what a difference they make.
- Don’t do all of the talking when you pray. As you talk to God, listen! Pause and allow the Spirit of God to speak.
- Write a few lines in a journal each evening. Reflect on the day and the goodness of God. Quietly consider what you have learned.
- Learn to enjoy the quiet moments of the night. God is there. “Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah” (Ps. 4:4).
- Stop talking. OK, this is hard. Many of us speak too quickly, and too frequently. “Study to be quiet, and to do your own business.” I don’t have to give my opinion about everything or share all that I know. It is amazing how much I realize I do not know when I am more concerned with listening than speaking.
“For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength…” (Isa. 30:15)
“And the work of righteousness shall be peace; and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.” (Is. 32:17)