Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Moments of Peace: Getting Lost in the Noise

Imagine Dragons' Radioactive has been spiraling through my head and I can't. get. it. out. Seems to be my theme song right now. But this song is where I want to be.

The kids yell, fight, and the youngest screams for yet something else he can't ask for. Super Why and Veggie Tales blares in the background mixed up with a Kindergartener's rendition of "Let It Go"--she's practicing ballet moves in the living room. The middle one pees through underwear...again.

A timer goes off, a skillet is sizzling, the dryer runs, the washer bounces, the toddler bangs a toy hammer on a window. "No, no, no!" There is marker on the back door. Someone turn off all those infernal battery-powered toys.

And I want to scream, "ENough! Silence. Please."  I am somewhere between rage and desperation and wonder, "Is this what it feels like to go insane?"

Turn off the computer, the phone, the noises, the lights, and sit in the peaceful sound of Creation.You know those crazy, frustrating times when the electricity goes out and everything goes deadly still? You never realized how much your neighborhood hummed or buzzed or ticked until it is all silenced. And it's kind of nice, but you don't seem to appreciate it at the moment. At least, I don't. After all, I need to finish grading an assignment online, email a friend, finish a load of laundry, vacuum... etc., etc., etc.

My favorite time of day is twilight..or dusk. I love when the sun starts to dip and the bugs harmonize with the frogs and the gentle swish of leaves, and I sit. in a lounge chair. and drink in the beauty of peace. of harmony.  It's a rather romantic time of day--enchanting in a way. It seems as if the world breathes a little slower and something wonderful could happen now because I'm actually slowing down enough to pay attention.

Despite my chaotic house, the loudest culprit to my own stillness is my own thoughts whirling, twirling, fighting, questioning, figuring, juggling, fatiguing on all the details I try to keep straight. Turning all that off can be next to impossible at times. I have to take a pen and paper and scribble out every idea that demands attention and then I can exhale and try to avoid thinking about anything mundane, material, or temporary. I want to renew my perspective and my hope. There IS something far better out there than this. And all this, is just "this." I want to regain my grasp on the eternal.

Try to keep your soul always in peace and quiet, always ready for whatever our Lord may wish to work in you. ~

I realize it may seem counter-productive to read a book about slowing down (aka, one more thing to do), but for me, reading is peace. Reading represents stillness, and focus (no multi-tasking required) and growth.  And who doesn't want that?

So, there are a couple books I want to read. Finding-Spiritual-Whitespace by Bonnie Gray

 She's friends with Ann Voskamp and a writer for [In]courage.

And this one: DeYoung's book, Crazy Busy.

Our "crazy busy" lives bother me--our society is probably the worst.  We are over-stressed, unhealthy, and unfocused, but more than our deteriorating health and relationships, we are distracted beyond our purpose, running around and around chasing our tails and gaining no ground. Why are we here? Am I living like I believe the answer to that question?  Does this all make sense?

Clever gimmicks of mass distraction yield a cheap soulcraft of addicted and self-medicated narcissists.
We do so much to numb-out after a busy day, but we just end up turning on more stuff (TV, texting, watching stupid YouTube videos, turning up the music). What would happen if we turned it all off... for just a little while? Would we explode? Are we afraid of the silence? Afraid to analyze ourselves? Afraid to let God come a little closer?

Choosing to be still isn't about numbing out; it's about choosing what to listen to.  What is going to come in and what is going to have to sit and shut-up?

In the midst of the awesomeness, a touch comes, and you know it is the right hand of Jesus Christ. You know it is not the hand of restraint, correction, nor chastisement, but the right hand of the Everlasting Father. Whenever His hand is laid upon you, it gives inexpressible peace and comfort, and the sense that "underneath are the everlasting arms," (Deuteronomy 33:27) full of support, provision, comfort and strength.
    Author: Oswald Chambers 

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