Ours is a noisy world.  Growing up in the country there were certain noises you grew accustomed to.  Crickets chirping at night.  Birds singing in the trees.  The sound of gunfire during hunting season.  And at times – quiet.  Beautiful quiet.

I remember one of the first trips I ever made to New York City.  The sights, smells, and sounds of city life accost you at every turn!  You go to sleep to the sound of traffic and horns and awaken to more of the same.

Country people don’t particularly like the sounds of the city.  City people have a hard time with the sounds (or lack thereof!) in the country.  We all grow comfortable to some degree of noise.

No matter where you live today there is an increasing noise to life – the hustle and bustle of a busy world.  Technology has only increased the steady stream of noise.  Sadly, the sound of quiet seems almost strange for most of us.  Yet the Lord speaks loudest in quiet places, places where we get still enough to hear the still, small voice of God.  Maybe that is why we seem to hear His voice so seldom.

The old country preacher Vance Havner used to write about being “in tune with heaven.”  Perhaps we are so “in tune” with every other frequency that we have no room for the Voice that truly matters.  People are busy.  Families are frayed.  Nerves are on edge.  Energies spent.  There is too much noise.

Every person is different and each much discover how to get their own heart and mind quiet.  Here are a few suggestions that have helped me:

  • Drive in silence.  I am glad for good preaching and singing, but at times the best thing you can do is turn the radio and cd player off.  You will not go crazy!  You may just be surprised how a few peaceful minutes in the car can renew your soul.
  • Turn off unnecessary notifications on your cell phone.  You don’t need a bell or whistle to tell you every time someone “likes” your photo or comments on your post.  If you can’t stop looking at your phone remove the social media access and check it only at certain times.  Smart phones can make dumb people.  Refuse to let it control your life.
  • Take a walk.  Not a run.  Move slowly enough to look around you and consider the greatness of God.
  • Spend a few minutes quietly meditating on your bed before you get up in the morning.  The last moments of the day and the first moments of the day are sometimes the clearest ones we have.  No distractions.  No noise.  Talk to the Lord.  Meditate on Him and listen for His Voice.
  • Don’t allow television and music to overpower evenings in your home.  Have some time where it all goes off.  Talk to one another.  Read a book.  Play a game together.
  • Set aside a little time at the end of the day to write in a journal.  Consider what you have learned and what God has done during that day.  I wrote more about why I use a journal here.
  • Choose a verse and meditate on it.  Bible meditation has been all but lost in our busy world.  Ponder the implications of one word or one phrase.  Selah.

There are many distractions in our world.  We must be intentional about what we give our attention to.  Guard the gates of your mind and guard the castle of your heart.  Choose and refuse carefully.  Life is precious and time is short.