As I sit down to write this morning, let me tell you what I hear.
The dryer is tumbling. Mondays are laundry days for me. I smile as I think to myself, yeah laundry is in progress! You’ll be reading this on Tuesday, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the laundry will be finished for the week when you see the post.
I hear the clicking of keys with each word I type. They are bringing into creation new sentences, the bones, upon which the muscles of thought will be attached to. Oh how thankful I am to watch the words fall from heaven and unto the page.
No kids, no phone ringing, no TV or radio blaring. Just a whole lot of quiet.
I love music. I really do. I am ready to turn the volume to its maximum and make joyful noises at the top of my lungs. Yet I was absolutely captivated by a verse I read in 1 Thessalonians 4:11 today. It says, “Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands.”
I am dwelling on the first part of the this verse especially; “make it your ambition to lead a quiet life”. Ambition. Goal. Objective. Aspiration. Hope. Dream. Purpose. Determination. How many of us want to live a quiet life? How many of us are willing to pour for the ambition to get it?
There’s plenty of noise around us. Dictionary.com says that one definition for noise is this “disturbance in a communications system that interferes with or prevents reception of a signal or of information, as the buzz on a telephone or snow on a television screen.”
It is one of my greatest longings to have a strong communication system with God. I want to have the pinnacle communication package with God. Talk, text, data, pictures, video; the works. Yet there are so many disturbances that attempt to interfere with our signals.
I think of all of those things that can get in my way and prevent me from receiving the information that God has for me. I feel sad over how long my list really is.
I think of when I got up this morning. When the alarm when off, I hit the snooze button and cuddled back under the covers. When I did roll out of bed, I disregarded the Bible sitting on my desk but reached straight for my to do list that I began writing yesterday. There’s a lot to do today, best get started early if I want to see them through.
Noise. Noise. Noise. Hitting the snooze. Disregarding my Bible. Both are disturbances to what God may have been wanting me to see.
Then there was an unpleasant exchange with my daughter this morning about having to wear snow pants for morning recess. How horrible I am as a mom to make her wear snow pants when the other kids won’t be wearing them, or so she says. Somehow the logic of it being nine degrees and feeling like a minus three degrees is lost at the thought of being the only one condemned to walk the playground in snow gear.
I wasn’t very patient or understanding with her. I really just wanted her to do as I said, because I said so. If I had been in the Bible earlier, I may have been able to circumvent the path we went down and the noise it created.
This is just a sampling of what disrupts my communication with God. Yes I want to lead a quiet life. Shouldn’t quiet come easily? I guess if it did, the inspired words of the Bible would not include the instruction to “make it your ambition”.
Ambition sounds a lot like work that requires effort and intention. Quiet lives do not just happen on their own. We have to make the choice. We have to act upon our choice. We have to be patient with the process. We get the opportunity to watch the fruit grow. We will eventually get to taste the sweetness of the harvest.
I have never thought of it before, but looking back I see how the Holy Spirit has had me on a noise reduction plan for many years now. A few years back we got rid of cable. Lots of yucky noise there that was disrupting our relationships with God and with each other. Slowly over time, my husband and I have become convicted about some of what we watched & listened to. We cut out some more.
God has even placed within us a deep craving for quiet times together. The radio is on a lot less in our vehicles. Which is really awesome because now we drive a lot more that we live in the country. For my husband, our move was a huge noise reducer to him.
When we lived in our old neighborhood the things that bothered him, didn’t bother me so much. I didn’t hear much of what he heard. When I sat on our deck I heard birds. He heard traffic. I heard faint whisperings of God, encouraging my heart. He heard the neighbors dogs bark. It makes me realize that we do not all have to live in the middle of no where to find quiet.
I’m starting to realize that living a quiet life is about having fewer disruptions and interferences with our communications systems with God. Things that are disruptions or interferences to me may not bother you and the other way around. Things are quiet we can receive the signals and information God is sending us.
“Give ear and come to me; hear me, that your soul may live” Isaiah 55:3
Aren’t God’s promises so awesome and amazing! See what Isaiah says. Listen to God. Come near to Him so we can hear. God will give life to our souls.
Look at what Jesus, Himself, says in John 6:45, “It is written by the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from Him comes to Me.” Oh how deeply I long to be taught by God. I can see when I look back that those times when I hear God speak, I do learn from Him. The desire to draw near to Jesus grows even strong in my heart.
As you are reading these words I pray that you are in a place of quiet and of peace. But, I know how life is. The phone may be ringing. The dishwasher may be beeping that it is done. Kids may be running through the house, or even worse they are silent and you have no idea what they are into at the moment. Stereos, TVs and streaming video from the web may all be trying to interfere with your heavenly connection. Your thoughts in your mind may sounds as annoying as the beeps, pops and buzzes of a dial-up modem. Through it all I pray God’s connection to us will be strong and clearly received.
Remember that making the choice to lead a quiet life does not mean it is not going happen instantaneously. It also does not mean that it is going to be easy. There will be good times. There will be great times. There’s also just going to be down right, headache inducing, noisy times. Practice makes progress.
You are not doing this alone. You have the fellowship of other believers who face the same loud snowy static life produces. Even better you have God. He’s the best communication and network specialist that you will ever encounter. God loves you! He’s willing to go to the ultimate extremes to make sure we receive His messages. He allowed Himself to be nailed on a cross, brutally put to death just so that we would hear Him so that our souls could live.
Thank You so much for the blessing of Your messages! Lord may Your signal ring loud and clear for us today.
Beloved Lord, may we cherish and deeply desire to receive You into our hearts. May it help us to be ambitious in seeking to live a quiet life. May it help us to have the strength and the patience to overcome all of the noise the world blares at us. May we experience the fullness of life that You have purposed us for.
May our return signals to You be messages of love, of gratitude and of praise. In Jesus’ name, amen.