Silence is a beautiful thing. Our noisy world seems to clamor for attention more and more. In a home with little children quiet is often at a premium. When our children are small we spend a great deal of energy trying to get them to quiet down. When they are teenagers we spend our time trying to get them to talk. My parents have explained to me that when they are gone (thank God we are not there yet!) you spend the first few months just trying to get adjusted to the quiet. And then grandchildren come.
Yes, life is a cycle of noise and quiet. Both are necessary. For a Christian, quiet times are times to speak to God and to listen for His voice. Times to meditate on the Word of God. Times to think about how good He has been to us. Life is not complete without some quiet.
I have learned that quiet rarely comes on its own. It must be sought. It must be carved out of busy days. You have to choose it. Quiet time should begin with your devotional life – a set time and place to be alone in communion with God. Don’t let it stop there! Find quiet moments throughout the day. A few adjustments in my own personal life have helped me with this:
- I try to make wise use of early morning moments. Before others are up the house is perfectly still. Recently I have learned that when I first wake up it is best not to get up immediately. Everyone has to find out what works best for them, but this has been a help to me. The psalmist David talked about communing with his own heart upon his bed and being still (Psalm 4:4). Take time to think on the Lord. Cry out to God. Allow the Lord to minister to your heart before you ever rise. Let the first steps of the day be bathed in prayer.
- I have turned off most all notifications on my cell phone. Technology is a blessing and a curse. We are too accessible…to everyone. Mobile phones are now ceaseless bell ringers. You do not have to know immediately that someone followed you on Twitter or commented on your Facebook post. You do not have to answer every text message in 30 seconds. If it is an emergency they will call. Emails are not on a one hour time limit for response. Set times to check these things but limit the amount of time you spend staring at the little box in your pocket.
- I rarely listen to anything in the car on my commute to and from work. I enjoy good music. I love listening to preaching. Occasionally I like news. Cd’s, satellite radio, mp3’s – they provide more than we could have ever imagined! Too much. My drive back and forth to my office is a fairly short one, but I am amazed how much good the quiet does me for even 10 minutes. Think. Pray. Listen.
There are a thousand other areas that I need to work on. These are just a few ideas that may be of help to you as they have been to me. What is your suggestion for developing more quiet time?