Posts Tagged ‘quiet place’

I suppose the quiet life is relative. At first, I was going make a joke about my life being far from quiet and yet, I’m sure government leaders, high-profile businesspeople or emergency room personnel would consider my life downright idyllic.

I Thessalonians 4:11b-12a
. . . make it your ambition to lead a quiet life: You should mind your own business and work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders . . .

I think many people think of the quiet life as that time when they can lounge around on the deck sipping mint juleps and watch the sun go down, the perfect retirement, let’s say. Or, perhaps the dream is sitting on the beach or overlooking the mountain side. Our current culture equates the quiet life with down time. I’m not so sure that is Paul’s intention here.

Instead, the quiet life is about steadiness and consistency. It’s being responsible and lovingly caring for ourselves and those around us. It’s commanding the small things first and then moving outward.

But in my life, I tend to heap on tasks from the outside first and overload my day so that my small world stuff is lost. My house becomes chaotic within and the stress begins as I try to juggle them all, thinking my outside job and volunteer work is more meaningful than cleaning out the refrigerator.

Truthfully, as much as I love sitting on the beach or walking in the woods, if I neglect the little things in my world, my respite is surface only. The small world does not go away. There is indeed such a thing as “daily life.”

I can’t afford a housekeeper or a secretary which means these responsibilities fall to me and those who share our home with me (but that’s another story). Let me just focus on my part of the puzzle.

If I sit still and work from the still point within, then the things that need to be done next will show themselves. The quiet life begins within. It’s one of the reasons we are all encouraged to pray or meditate or still the heart before the day begins in earnest.

“Be still and know that I am God.” [Psalm 46:10]

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Psalm 37:7
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.

Things are whirling about me… tensions, concerns, fears. The woes of our economy have reached into my personal life as our organization faces lay-offs, furloughs, and a branch closing. Lives will be changed; dreams will be shattered; hope will be challenged.

I am a little ashamed that I have found myself talking and talking and talking about what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen in the days ahead. Talking, talking, talking. Mostly. Not really praying.

I have not been listening… at least, I haven’t been listening in the quiet place, the secret place. I have been just a “sounding gong and clanging cymbal” [I Corinthians 13:1]. I have given my opinion, my interpretations, my gut feel, my take, my understanding, my inside information, and so on…

Today, I heard only one thing in my prayer time: Be Quiet!

When we speak in the silence unnecessarily, we cannot hear. And if we cannot hear, we cannot act in God’s will, only our own.

In Ecclesiastes, there is a long list about the timing of everything including speaking: (vs. 7b) “…a time to be silent and a time to speak, …”

Oh, may the remaining part of this day be transformed. Keep me mindful of these words: “He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.” [Proverbs 21:23]

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