noun: the quality or state of being quiet or calm
a: marked by little or no motion or activity, calm
b: a calm easygoing temperament
c: not interfered with
d: enjoyed in peace and relaxation
a: free from noise or uproar
b: unobtrusive, calm
- synonyms: calm, peaceful, hush, peacefulness, repose, sereneness, stillness, restfulness, tranquility
: making very little noise
: not talking
: tending not to talk very much
That singular word has embodied my life recently. After almost a lifetime of wanting and wishing for quiet, it’s become reality. An only child, my childhood was… quiet. Also an introvert, my mind was often more exciting and busy than real life. I relished time spent immersed in a book or writing down the thoughts in my head. I didn’t mind the quiet. Instead, I embraced it.
Fast forward to college, and suddenly there were people – and noise – everywhere. I used to crave the times I walked or rode to and from class, just so my mind could unclutter itself. And then, marriage. Babies.
Quiet became an ancient relic, waiting for a future me to delicately excavate it properly and with honor.
So it has stunned me, really, just how downright terrifying quiet can be after such a long lapse in time.
Something I yearned for on an almost daily basis, is staring me in the face, taunting me, daring me, to grasp it by the hand and resume our relationship.
I can think thoughts, process information, dream when quiet has a foothold. Or, at least, I used to be able to do those things.
Now, the vastness of the quiet that was hidden away scares me a little. Or maybe a lot.
With a family filling up a house, people demanded (even unconsciously) my time and attention, so things just got done. Rarely did I have the opportunity to sift and sort out solutions, especially during the daytime. In fact, I think that may be the direct cause of my mind wandering with abandon during the hours I should have been sleeping. When you need quiet, and you don’t get it, somehow, it takes advantage of the blank spaces anyway. I needed time to think, and when the only opportunity available presented itself – bedtime – I fought the quiet because sleep was more important. Well, duh…
Except… quiet is just as valuable.
Sleep nourishes our bodies; quiet sustains our souls.
The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent. Exodus 14:14
We tend to forgot this. Not in theory, really, but in practice. Even though we pencil in “quiet time” and daily devotions, it’s something that needs to be done, not developed. That’s not to say that the time isn’t well-spent, but if there is time to just be, well, what might happen if we can finally hear a voice within the stillness?
I’ve been so busy fighting my own fights, doing things my way, because I didn’t make room for the silence that connected me to His will for my life. Connected me to Him.
But now, I’ve unearthed a space for quiet. For silence.
I can only imagine how good it will be when, with peace, calm and no noise, His voice will be all I hear.