My house can be a very noisy place to live. There are 3 kids, 2 adults, and one dog living under this roof. From the moment the kids wake up until the moment they go to sleep they are creating noise. It is amazing the things that they have that make noise. Hands raking through a tray of legos, baby bottles that cry and suck, Super Mario Bros bouncing their way through their mission of squashing advesaries and collecting coins… And then there is the piano. Holy toledo! What an amazingly loud household we have here. My kids are not to blame, I contribute to the noise level here as well. I’ve got music playing in the kitchen, alerts dinging on my phone, Jimmy Fallon on the TV, and my voice rambling along at million miles a minute. In the background of all this, is the traffic and activity of the world around me. Motorcycles showing off just how loud they can be, people yelling at the bank teller nearby, and horns honking because the person didn’t move through the recently turned green light quick enough. It’s a noisy life. Have you ever wondered where God has been? Ever felt like it’s been a while since you’ve heard from God? Or maybe God seems like a really distant thing from your past.
I think that many of us have volume control issues. Our lives may be filled with so much noise that we just can’t hear the still small voice of God.
Life is comprised of Primary Noise, and Secondary Noise. Primary noise is the stuff that we can’t eliminate; your job, boss, friends, finances, and your emotions. Secondary noise is things that you invite into your life; Facebook, television, Instagram, Twitter, smart phones, etc… We all need a little lesson in noise management.
Not all noise is bad. But even good noise is still noise.
Family, friends, and relationships, are all good things, but they too can contribute to the noise level in your life. All of life’s noise needs to be balanced. Sometimes the volume in your life is by your choice, and other times it is out of your control. Jesus knew that there were times like this in life and in ministry. That is why in Mark 6 Jesus invites His disciples to turn down the volume of life and practicing solitude.
And He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” (For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.) Mark 6:31
Solitude is a place.
It is a place in time that is set apart for God and God alone. It is a specific time to withdraw from the noise and interactions with others, with busyness, and the constant stimulation that comes from a life with others. Solitude is a place where God’s Spirit and your spirit hang out. It is private and it is intimate.
Solitude is a pace.
In solitude there is no hurry. There is no rush. Solitude is a place to rest and experience the life giving presence of God our Father. Solitude is a pace that encourages engagement. There is time and space to converse with God, time to slow down and just be in His presence. Solitude is an opportunity to interrupt our normal life by turning off the noise and the stimulation so that we can hear God. In the stillness we may find that we are being called into a deeper relationship with the only one who can truly satisfy us! Where in your life can you dial down the noise level? What would that look like for you today? ~Peter