I've had a lot of time to think lately.
Which seems strange, given the fact that I'm working full-time, in the middle of relaunching this little blog and doing some redesign stuff myself (and then fixing the problems I'm causing by doing the blog redesign myself...), and remodeling our farmhouse.
One thing about spending so many of my evenings out at the farmhouse painting and re-carpeting and pulling nails is that it's sort of... quiet.
Most of my days are filled with noise.
You probably know exactly what I mean.
My days are full of demands, of noisy thoughts, of a constant narrative in my head. I'm interrupted from projects by phone calls and e-mails. Did I process that discount? Which family needed a portable crib, again? Did I remember to send that reply? How many campers, how many beds, how many deposits?
I love it, yes. But sometimes, at the end of a busy day, I just want to sit quietly.
I don't. I don't usually sit quietly. Usually I go home and turn on the radio, the TV, a movie, read a book, or pay bills, or check Facebook. My mind is unaccustomed to having any real time of quiet... and it's uncomfortable. It seems wrong, somehow.
But lately. Lately we've been coming home and changing clothes, and going out to the farmhouse.
My hands have been busy, but my mind has been quiet.
I need it.
Even a few hours of letting my mind rest, giving myself some space, has made a difference.
You know, I've avoided quiet for years. In college, I turned on the TV before I did homework- I liked having people talking in the background. Car trips are filled with music and occasionally a book. I like having a busy brain.
But a busy brain often silences the quiet whispers of my God.
Since my forced quiet, I've heard Him more clearly, seen His hand more powerfully. Because I'm not distracted.
In the Bible, the idea of rest is taken seriously. People who disobey the command to rest are subject to hefty consequences.
Our God, the One who knows us best because He made us, after all, tells us to rest. Tells us to wait. Tells us to just be.
Often, I take this very literally and limit my Sunday activities to church, naps, and relaxing. I go on vacation. I sit outside with a cup of coffee.
Those things are good.
But I need more. Not only do I need physical quiet and rest- I need mental rest, too.
I don't think that we were met to be constantly connected. Constantly entertained. Constantly distracted. God speaks in the little moments- and when I'm on my phone, or watching a sit-com, or filling my minutes with amusement, I'm can't hear Him speak.
I need those quiet moments in my days. In my everyday.
Because, oh, hearing His voice, it's so much better than those things I fill up my time with. So much better than that TV show or that Facebook post.
This bit of quiet- I need it. It brings me closer to God.