“But the Lord is in his holy Temple. Let all the earth be silent before him.” Habakkuk 2:20
Some days are just anything but peaceful. From the time the alarm lets off it’s annoying buzzing, to the time the TV is finally shut off and the house is awash in utter darkness and silence, the world surrounding me emits one noise after another. Stealing my peace. Drowning out my thoughts. Wrecking my mood.
At work it’s the telephone that rings, or the ping of the new email that has arrived. It’s the beeping of the printer that is broken for the one hundredth time, or the sound of the overhead paging system.
At home, it’s the dogs howling and barking outside, or men on the roof next door. It is the bird sounds, “potty” noises and awful squawks that come from the mouth of Hunter, our five year old. It’s the 30 minute long wails that then erupt when you ask the squawking five year old to stop making those “potty” noises. It’s the bickering between siblings, the “Mommy, can I’s,” and the “Mommy, he/she dids.” It’s the call on the phone to remind us of an appointment tomorrow, the sound of Peppa Pig on the TV, the ding of the oven timer, and goodness….does that dog ever stop howling?
Yes, some days just are not peaceful, and on those days I want to find the highest cliff, and shout to the world as loud as I can to just SHUT-UP, and STOP MAKING ALL THAT NOISE!
Not only does all this noise steal my peace, rob my thoughts, and wreck my mood, but it also means I have less time to listen to God.
“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31
Finding time to simply be alone, away from all the noise, is tough, especially on these days. Especially when my bathroom hideout has been exposed, and I can still hear the “Mommy, can I’s,” and “Mommy, he/she dids,” from the outside of that door. It’s hard to find five minutes when you are staring at the still ten things left on your long to do list. To find time alone when you are rushing from work, to the bus stop, back for an appointment, to church, and all the stops in between. And it is hard to find quiet when the iPhone is vibrating or chirping, the kids are fighting and yelling…and, why is that dog still howling?
Yet, I am challenged. Throughout the Bible we are told of busy people who have been called to do God’s work making time to be alone to pray and talk to Him. To seek peace in the noise of the world around them. We have Moses in Exodus 33. There is Elijah in 1 Kings 19, and of course, Jesus, who left his disciples on many occasions in search of peace so he could hear God.
Certainly, I can find a little time for this peace, too, even if that means I have to get a bit creative with my time.
It means keeping a devotional in my car to read when I am stuck in traffic, or to read before I even leave my car at work. It means I invite God on my runs, and spend time praising Him for the beauty around me, or praying for endurance. It means that I can shut the email off at work, close my office door so I do not hear the beep of the broken printer, and open my Bible.
We can’t drown out all the noise around us. We can’t turn off every voice, every scream, or even the howling dog. And if you are like me, most of the time we can’t find the “perfect” time or the “perfect” place to spend time in complete quiet and peace. But, we do have small opportunities to find peace, to keep us from letting the noise steal our peace, rob our thoughts, or wreck our mood.
I mean, really. Think about it. While climbing to the highest cliff to scream at the world may seem like some type of freedom, and not to mention great exercise, with all the noise, would the world really even hear my plea for everyone to “shut-up?”
No, probably not. But, God will. God hears us. In a world filled with noise. When the phone is chirping a new notification, when the kids are fighting, when the dog is still howling, he hears our cries and praises, and gives us a moment of peace in the midst of the noise.