Saturday, September 29, 2007

Beyond the Noise

About a month ago I was talking with an elder from church about the fact that I was having trouble praying about a certain issue in my life. He suggested that maybe I needed to get away from "noise" and just be quiet with God. I kind of thought that was odd, because really my life is pretty quiet. I don't have cable, so I very rarely watch TV. I watch movies once in a while, but not too often. I did listen to music almost every waking moment possible, but I figured that since I was listening to worship/praise/Jesus music, that certainly didn't qualify as noise.

He specifically suggested that I try keeping the radio off in my car and using that time to meditate, pray, and generally listen for God. I wasn't sure that was a great idea, and if you know my issues with road rage you will understand me when I say that that music is all that keeps me from going nutso in traffic at times. But hey, I thought I should give it a shot.

I took about a week after that to try and live in purposeful silence. I'm not going to lie, it was strange and kind of rough at first. I love music; if you've read the blog long enough, you can probably catch the fact that music ministers to and moves me powerfully. But the silence was very freeing. If God put a song in my heart, then I sang it. I felt like my praise was my own and more personalized because it wasn't just what the radio or iTunes was telling me was next in the queue.

It is also very nice for time to pray and really have "conversations" with God. When I have my prayer time at night, although it is sincere, I usually am praying specific and purposeful intercessory prayers (oftentimes from a list-- what can I say, I like lists). But when I'm in the car or washing dishes and it's just silent, I feel more free to just pour out to God what is on my heart. The things I'm stressed out about, people I love, thanks for the joys of the day, or whatever is on my mind at the moment. For some reason these times are more conducive to dropping any facade and revealing my true self--problems and praises, victories and defeats.

One of my favorite times of the week now is Tuesday nights, which has for some reason become the time I do my nails. Something about the combination of doing something for myself and spending quiet time in prayer is so calming. In fact, I missed it this week and it's been nagging at me ever since (I'm making up for it tonight).

We live in a very noisy world. Even when the "noises" are good things, it is still beneficial to step away and be silent for a while. Who knows what God is trying to say to us, but we can't hear it for the noise.

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. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. --I Kings 19:11-13

1 comment:

jettybetty said...

I am just figuring this out--it's so hard to be quiet--but so important. It's easier to talk to God, than to listen to him talk to me!

Hope you are having a great Tuesday night this week ;-)!!