The ability to remain calm and enjoy quiet is a gift (particularly for those of us who wave the introvert flag). Quiet does not mean that we are being uncommunicative; rather, in an ideal world, a good quiet time between two people can be chock-full of intimacy, meaning, and tenderness.
However, we live in a fussy, distractable, and chaotic world that wars against the very ideas of calm and quiet. It seems like wherever we go, our senses are overloaded with information, sounds, and thousands of microdecisions that our minds must make each day.
So how do we stand firm (as we are encouraged to do in the book of Ephesians) when all around us, we see mayhem, disorder, and noise? The answer is simple, but in practice is rarely easy: we must intentionally tune in to the Holy Spirit, and then tune out all else.
The only Source of peace comes from a personal relationship with Jesus. And through the Holy Spirit, we have access to His guidance, 24/7. But we must first tune in to receive that which we seek.
This is why I like the first part of Psalm 131:2 – Surely I have calmed and quieted my soul (emphasis added). If we take a page out of the psalmist’s book, then we must recognize the fact that we need to initiate this process of calm and quiet ourselves, rather than looking for someone (or something) to provide relief to our weary hearts.
For me, it has meant spending a quiet Friday evening on the couch and resting, following a good – but busy – day that began with a very early start. So I ate dinner, then relaxed on the couch as I mentally unpacked and processed my day (think of how you unpack a suitcase: the process is much the same). Anyway, after I let myself have a good think and feel, I was then able to set those experiences aside for awhile, as I contemplated what to do next.
Interestingly, reading (and responding to) other bloggers’ posts and comments is also quite calming – or it can be, depending on your persective. So I try to allow myself time to engage with this wonderful community of friends in an intentional way, rather than getting sidetracked by page views, likes, follows, and so on. As is my custom, I crafted and scheduled this post you’re now reading earlier in the evening – but only after I got to a place of calm and quiet first.
Notably, it is only now that I now feel ready to re-engage my mind with a new task, and my nightly foreign language studies lay before me. I can honestly say that I am looking forward to my explorations in Spanish, French, and Italian this evening! A couple of hours ago, my answer would’ve been very different, though.
I am so grateful that I intentionally chose to rest! Trust me – this does not always happen this smoothly or effortlessly every day, but I try to keep this truth in mind: I only stand to benefit when I give myself permission and space to unwind. Also, the Bible supports this point of view (hello, even God rested after creating the known universe!), so we are wise if we do likewise. 💡