In a world of beeping phones, traffic lights, and Daniel Tiger songs, it takes but a minute to undo the chaos of our modern world. It might seem that one would need a silent retreat weekend or a Hawaiian vacation to find peace in this busy life, but I’d offer that we only need to travel a few miles down the road.
For me, there is something profoundly beautiful in the quiet of an empty church. As the heavy doors close, the world seems to fade away and my senses become more present, awakening to find a simple paradise.
…the glint of light shining on an otherwise typical statue.
…the lingering scent of incense and spring flowers.
…the pounding of my heartbeat, so strong that it is nearly audible.
…the rise and fall of my chest as I breathe–as if for the first time in a long while.
It is in those moments that God’s voice is the loudest. My thoughts become uncluttered, my emotions clear, and my heart takes a deep sigh of relief. The pressures of the daily to-do list seem to fade for just a moment while my eyes take in the glory of God’s peace.
Often, these are stolen moments for me— a rare day when traffic was light and I arrived early to pick up the kids, or a last-minute text saying that a friend would be late to meet up. When my heart is open and my willpower is strong, I can avoid the temptation to “scroll” my time away and instead seek a moment of peace in a nearby church.
Moments of silence seem strange at first. But, our hearts crave them. Much like a toddler fights back at naptime (even though they are desperately in need of sleep), so do our souls. I’ve found that when I need silence and prayer the most, I can find a million reasons why it’s just not a good time.
Much like a toddler fights back at naptime (even though they are desperately in need of sleep), so do our souls.
Psalm 46:10 is often quoted: “Be still and know that I am God!” The Etsy-version of this verse evokes a sense of peace, resting in the Lord, meditating with mindfulness. It is a noble goal but, for many of us, it is a nearly impossible task. Oh, that we could all just quiet our lives and rest in the Lord whenever we wanted!
The rest of the Psalm, however, speaks of the chaos that surrounds God’s people. Mountains are quaking, the waters are raging, wars are continuing on—but, the Lord tells them to “be still and know that I am God.” Both parts of the command are important. We cannot just stop our world and be still. As much as I may want to neglect the dishes and dirty floors, our vocations are important.
We can only sit and be still when we have confidence in God. He has the power to calm the chaos around us. He gives us a moment to breathe, to rest, and then to return to the craziness of our lives as wives, mothers, and professionals with a sense of peace in our hearts.
So, the invitation stands for us. Try as we might, we cannot run at warp-speed all day without rest. Our hearts need silence to reflect on the goodness of God. I invite you to step inside a nearby church this week, even for just a few moments—and let God remind you how to just be still.
How do you find moments of silence in your daily life?