Is it ever quiet around your house? With teenagers and all of their friends coming in and out, a husband, a dog, a computer declaring “You’ve Got Mail” and the telephone, it is rarely quiet in my house. Organized chaos seems to be more the norm here.
I am very much a people person, so I used to hate the quiet. I am the one who thinks if two friends are fun, then twenty would be more fun. I love music and I would turn the radio on as soon as I got up in the mornings to catch the news and literally leave it on all day long without even thinking about it.
As many of you know, I’ve spent the last eighteen months writing a fiction book on the human sex trafficking of minors in Atlanta. After months of research and interviews, I spent countless hours alone at my computer working. In the process, I’ve come to love the quiet.
It wasn’t easy, mind you. I fought the idea of quiet through these months. Once I said out loud to an empty room, “The quiet is hurting my ears.” However, in the process of forced quiet, I’ve come to fall in love with it. Don’t get me wrong, I still need some music blasting, kids yelling for something they need downstairs from upstairs and the telephone ringing off the hook, but if I don’t have a time of quiet in my day, something just seems off.
Quiet time….people of faith talk about a quiet time, but when you ask them what a quiet time is you get various responses like: “It’s a time when I put on worship music and get before Jesus.” Others have said “It’s when I read a devotional or do my Bible study.” All of those things are great and I do them myself, but that isn’t really quiet time. Quiet time is the absence of noise…the absence of distractions…the absence of voices, including your own. It is in the quiet that we hear the gentle whisper of God.
The LORD said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. [1 Kings 19:11-12]
God is always speaking, but we aren’t always listening. We are distracted by our world and we miss Him quite often. Hearing God speak doesn’t have to be the exception. It can be the norm, but we must get quiet, which is more than just the turning the radio off. We must quiet ourselves before Him. Shhhhhh. Can you hear it? Are you listening?