Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Living in town now, I hear lots of dogs crying their woes. I feel like yelling, “Hush, you puppies, enough already!” At times I will myself to tune them out. In today’s world, we’re often forced to tune out unnecessary, unproductive, and unwelcome noise. Conversely, at times I enjoy noise, like the voices of worshipers in church praising God with everything they have. Now, there’s a good thought—tuning out the unwelcome sounds with our inner words of praise.


Silence is golden

My husband, Don, and I, traveled with another couple to a mountain lake in British Columbia one summer. Because of the exertion of the climb, we hardly spoke. The silence was earsplitting.

After we reached the top and set up camp, we took turns fishing for trout from a small, leaky rowboat found hidden among overgrown brush on the shore. Don and I shared a love for nature, and we reveled in the hushed atmosphere. Later, after our friends had also caught a string of trout, the tenor of the experience changed. As silent as we’d been earlier, now we chattered and laughed and joked with an exuberance and joy that comes from being in the pure air and ruggedness of a private mountaintop.

Conversation is often like that, isn’t it? Noisy at one moment, quiet as the foot-falls of a white-tailed deer the next. Trouble is, living among the din of television, traffic, and I-tunes from a cell phone, sometimes it’s hard to find a spot of quietness. Even the hum of our computers with their jarring, unexpected ads, can be distracting. The struggle to maintain total silence sometimes is downright impossible. Worse yet, many of us actually prefer the noise and find it hard to quiet ourselves long enough to think.

But we hear God’s voice best in the quietness. Quiet places can be out of reach for some of us. For others, quietness is so foreign that we believe we must be surrounded by noise. How can we hear a friend while sitting in a crowded, noisy room? Conversation comes much easier in a quiet corner. Perhaps we all need to start the habit of turning down the volume of our lives, seeking a quiet place without distractions.

I’ve read about people who are so busy, they set aside a daily time on their calendar to talk to and listen to God. That place doesn’t have to be on top of a mountain. It can be in a closet, in a recliner, or over a sink full of dirty dishes. Wherever we choose, our “sanctuary” will be a place where we will learn to know God better, where He will joyfully share His promises, His purposes, and His peace.

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

Lord, help each of us find our own mountaintops or closets where we can meet you in silence and peace. Give us eyes opened to your purposes, ears tuned to your voice, and hearts softened to receive your love.

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