Choosing Silence: Being Still in an Over-Stimulating World
I am not accustomed to quiet. Growing up as the oldest of ten children, a majority of whom were boys, loud the was default. Toddlers don’t tiptoe, they stomp. Little boys rush through with a bombardment of pirate adventures and little girls run away squealing with delight. The sounds of life were never far from my ears.
When I moved into a house of my own, I was shocked at how the quiet affected me. Silence was an uncomfortable companion. I longed for the bustle that annoyed me in high school. TV and music quickly filled the background space. As time’s progressed, my noise as become more productive. Podcasts kept my ears active with information and thought-provoking discussions. Talk radio kept me up to date on the latest happenings in the world. Although, I am starting to wonder more and more if the noise was as productive as I assumed.
A few months ago, I was struck with an ear infection that drops and antibiotics just couldn’t seem to rid me of. Noise, any amount of noise, felt like gongs ringing deep in my head. So the radio was shut off and books were picked up exchange for television.
And the silence was an unexpected blessing.
Not to long ago, silence would have been the default. Our drive to work would have been time to think, not time to be assaulted noise. Instead of letting others tell us what to think about, our minds could wander naturally.
I propose we bring back silence into our days. Unlike the days of old, we now have to be intentional about cultivating time of quiet. We have to chose to silence our phones, to turn off our radios, and to patiently train our minds to seek time to be still.
“Be still and know that I am God.” -Psalm 46:10
Our stillness has a purpose. It allows us to be quite to reflect on the nature of God. We have a chance to focus on the goodness of what He has done, to allow our minds to wander over His blessings. We need to seek quiet and calm.
Bringing our bodies into stillness is not a passive act these days but, even in a quiet time, I think it still involved work. Being still, taking captive our thoughts, these are all commands given to shepherds and farmers. If there was anyone who would have instinctively had this opportunity, it would have been them. Even they needed to be reminded.
So if they needed to be intentional, how much more must we?
Let’s set our practice early in the day of seeking stillness before the Lord. Instead of turning on our radio or grabbing the remote, what if we turned our mind to prayer? What would our days look like if the quiet moments were spent pouring over the Lord’s words and opening our hearts to Him?
The sounds of life, of laughter and tears, don’t need to be ignored. As Ecclesiastes tells us, there is a season for everything. But let us not ignore the calm, quiet seasons to stillness in the presence of God.
Happy Mind Happy Home
Lovely post. So important to find quiet outside to create quiet in our minds. A quiet mind leads to calm, peace, and much less stress!
BaileyHappy Mind Happy Home
It is very important. I find it definitely helps me creatively as well.
I’m not good at being still, but working on it. Life does have a way of making you be still when you are sick!
I’m not either but yes, it is one of the unexpected blessings of illness.
Such a great post Bailey. Totally agree – we need to take time to be still before God. It seems so hard coz we’re always thinking or doing something BUT it’s actually a good thing to be quiet and pray instead of being active all the time.
It is good. We seem to rush and run from one thing to the next, ignoring our weekly Sabbath and daily time of stillness in His presence.
Natalie @ Obsessive Cooking Disorder
I wouldn’t mind the quiet – although it can get lonely haha.
BaileyNatalie @ Obsessive Cooking Disorder
Yes, it can get lonely but taking time for quietness is very important.
Silence can be so fulfilling and energizing. Sometimes I just enjoy sitting in a dark room or even in my car for a few minutes to unwind and free my mind of the day. Beautiful words.
It helps encourage and strengthen us in such a unique way.
This is such an interesting way to look at silence! I find those quiet moments during the day when both boys nap and I’m afraid to make much of a sound can be a nice welcome reprieve from the day – but it can feel stifling too sometimes. Before kids I used to always have music or the TV or something in the background. I shut it off now as I know that having background noise can actually make it harder for their language skills to develop, and sometimes I do miss the background noise. But as you pointed out, toddlers make enough noise on their own, haha!
I didn’t know about background noise interfering with language development skills but that definitely makes sense. It certainly gives us another reason to be intentional with the noise we let into our lives! Thank you for sharing.
In my opinion, the ceaseless chatter of the mind is the NOISE. Even if you go up high into the mountains, the mind chatter will not leave you. To control and subdue it is art which very few possess.
Try yoga, and you will find ways and means to find silence among cars, screaming kids and even the chattering mind.
It is noise indeed. I try hard to take captive every thought as the Bible commands.
Tara Siudy (Little Miss Dexterous)
I believe this! There is nothing like finding yourself when in silence.
BaileyTara Siudy (Little Miss Dexterous)
Glad you agree, Tara!
Erica Career & Life Purpose Coach
I love this. What a beautifully written post. Thank you for sharing, it’s something I needed to hear today! xx
BaileyErica Career & Life Purpose Coach
Thank you for reading, Erica.
Lovely post Bailey. I am an only child and very accustomed to quiet, but it seems hard to come by these days. It is something I deeply crave. Great reminder to be active in seeking and choosing it.
It is something we certainly have to be intentional in cultivating in our lives.
This took a lot of practice for me but I am reaping the benefits of being still. I can’t believe how much focused I am and how much more I am able to achieve. I won’t say I can do this all day every day, but I do start my day in meditation to try and set the tone.
The benefits of stillness are vast indeed. I start my days in prayer and scripture. So grateful for the mornings when I find the peace of God in those quiet moments.
What an insightful post! I grew up in a mostly quiet environment and crave the music and noise now! But there is definitely something to be said for appreciating the silence — you can think through more that way!
I find that I am addicted to the noise. It is a habit I am trying to break.
I really liked this post. Taking time to be silent before the Lord is such a hard thing to do sometimes. Thank you for this sweet post of encouragement.
It is a habit we must work hard to cultivate. Thank you for reading.
Love that verse from Psalms. We all need to take some time to be still and enjoy the silence in such a busy world.
It is such a beautiful truth. I hope we can all find ways to center ourselves around the Prince of Peace.
This is beautiful, the perfect reminder to put our hectic schedules aside and seek out the quiet.
Thank you, Tara.
I struggle with being in complete silence at times. My husband is happy to do a long car trip with the radio turned off. I need the noise at times.
I do too. I certainly think there is a time and a season for everything. I just know that I tend to be excessive in seeking noise and neglect the beauty of silence.
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[…] We shouldn’t be spending our day of rest of the whim of another. The Sabbath should be spend not fretting around like Martha but simply sitting at the feet of the Lord like Mary. Seek stillness. […]