If there is one word that can accurately describe this world, it’s: noisy. It’s all around us. The loud clanging on a factory floor, the incessant typing in an office building, and the murmur and shuffle of students between classes are common noises heard throughout the day. After sitting through classes with monotonous teachers or through meetings with boorish bosses, we come home to put on the next episode in the series we are currently binging. Throughout breaks in the day, our time is spent either watching YouTube or listening to music, sometimes we even do this while we are working.
The point is that this world is full of noise. Our culture is so used to it that we can no longer handle the silence. In fact, we actively try to avoid it, sometimes by entertaining ourselves with electronic distractions or by continuously spending time with others. There is something in the silence we don’t want to face, and the longer we steer clear of it, the longer we won’t find peace, and we’ll continue to stay on edge.
Most people don’t want to sit in the quiet because it leaves them with their own thoughts. It’s a time to reflect, and they don’t like what they have to reflect on. Other times they become bored. They are so conditioned to the noise around them that they don’t know how to live without it. Our minds move so fast that it has become a hard task to sit still and focus.
According to the Bible, we are supposed to take advantage of the still moments in our lives. We are supposed to make time for that kind of tranquility. Ecclesiastes 3:7 (KJV) states, A time to rend, and a time to sew, a time to keep silence, and a time to speak. There are some moments when it is wise to keep silent.
However, we are not supposed to just sit there twiddling our thumbs. One of the main reasons the Bible instructs us to be quiet is so that we have time to meditate. This is not the kind of meditation that features the Dalai Lama sitting crisscross applesauce on the floor continuously repeating the word “Ommm.” This meditation is a time to ponder on God’s amazing Word, reflect on His works, and analyze our own actions and thoughts when compared to His standard.
This is summarized nicely in Joshua 1:8:
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that though mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
Many verses in the Bible affirm this sentiment (Psalm 1:1-2; Psalm 77:12; 1 Timothy 4:15), but it can be hard to take time out of our day to meditate. Even if we are looking for a time to be quiet, sit still, and reflect, the noise of the day still seems to dominate. It has become increasingly harder to focus.
Even if it might not seem possible to find a quiet place, we are reminded by Psalms 63:6, “When I remember you upon my bed, and meditate on you in the watches of the night,” and Psalm 4:4, “Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed and be still.”
One of the stillest and quietest moments we gain in our day is unwinding at the end, just before going to sleep. What do you do during that time? Do you meditate on the Lord or do you pull up another noisy distraction on your phone? Our generation needs less time on electronic devices, and more time reflecting on the Lord and His Word. It will make those moments of silence worth more than any noise we hear.