In our world, noise is everywhere. The noise of our busy lives is practically impossible to escape. Each person listens to a unique noise created by their chosen lifestyle. Every noise pattern validates the craziness of an individual’s life. However, the noise becomes a distraction, which separates us from true peace, silence, and the presence of God.
The noise in my life changes constantly. I am known as the world traveler in my family. My family still lives in South Dakota in the home where I grew up. All of my siblings still live in South Dakota, with the farthest of them being only an hour and fifteen minutes from home. Though I am very much an introverted homebody, I have lived in South Dakota (four hours away from my hometown), Iowa, Ohio, Colorado, and Texas. I have lived a total of sixteen months out of one backpack and one suitcase. In addition to that craziness, I will be leaving the States very soon for a semester studying abroad in Austria. I will finally be able to truly claim my title as the world traveler of my family.
As the scene around me frequently changes, many other things in my life change as well. In every move, I have to make new friends, make more attempts to stay in touch with old friends, and try to stay consistent in communication with my family back home. For means of communication and entertainment, technology has become a loud noise in my life. Too often, I find myself using my phone as a way to distract myself from boredom, awkward situations, and silence. At times, books, painting, baking/cooking, random activities, and my own thoughts are among the many things in my life that can cause noise and distract me from living fully in the presence of God.
A Break from the Noise
Over the past few years, I have started to learn the importance of being able to get away from the noisiness of life. However, that does not mean avoiding responsibilities or procrastinating. A break from the noise simply means to take a step back and spend some time in prayerful silence. Silence must be practiced—it is a choice. One side effect of living in a noisy world includes the inability to sit in silence, which is why it must be practiced. When I first started to discipline myself by taking time for silence, a minute felt like a never-ending period of torture. No matter how hard it may be to successfully sit in silence for a period of time, it is important to persevere.
The importance of silence starts with God. Most of the time, God does not speak to us with flashing neon signs or a megaphone. Often times, God speaks to us through the things we love–flowers, painting, sunset, mountains, music, and whatever else reminds us that there is a God and that we are loved. If we only let ourselves see the mountains, but we never take the time to sit on top of the mountain in silence and peace, we will miss the message God is trying to speak to us. God speaks in the silence. We must not be afraid to take a break from the noise and LISTEN.
Hear the word of the Lord. Listen to the instruction of our God.
© 2018 Emily Pillatzki
Photo Credit: Emily Pillatzki