We are a world that is in perpetual motion. We run full bore from the minute we climb out of bed until the moment we collapse back into bed at night. Then once we climb back into bed at night we roll around and find ourselves not able to sleep; our bodies are exhausted but our minds are still racing, thinking of the things we did not do that day and the things we have to do tomorrow. Even weekends and vacations are of no help. We take our work and our technology with us wherever we go. You know the picture. You look down the beach and see a vacationer sitting on the beach constantly texting or answering e-mails, and you think to yourself, “Geez, they sure don’t look relaxed!” And on top of that, we always have noise blaring into our ears. Many of us cannot get into the car without turning on the radio, or even if we are doing chores at home, the television must be turned on. What happened to “Silence is golden?”
This time of year the perpetual motion cycle is in overdrive. From Thanksgiving through Christmas many of us are in a constant state of “full speed ahead.” There are dinners to prepare, cookies to bake, endless holiday parties to attend, gifts to purchase, decorations to put up, and cards to mail. Not only that, during the holidays we often replace trips to the gym with trips to overcrowded malls, buying more and more gifts. Seriously, does your sister really need a sweater to go with every outfit? And how many toys does the cat really need?
This time of year is a perfect time to look over your own life and intentionally build times of silence and quietness into your schedule. Your body needs down time to rest and re-charge, and your soul needs times of silence and quietness in order to hear God’s voice. God sometimes speaks in loud tones, but most often He speaks to us in gentle whispers (see 1 Kings 19:11-12). It is really hard to hear God’s voice if you do not build times into your daily routine to dial down and simply be at rest. Psalm 46:10 tells us that we are to “be still and know that I am God.” And among other things, Isaiah 30:15 tells us that “in quietness and trust is your strength.”
If you anything about wheels, then you know that they turn around an axle. Even in the fastest wheel that is turning at 200 miles per hour, in the center where the axle is found, there is no movement at all. The axle is not moving, it is static even as the wheel around it turns. And just as with the axle, while life around you turns at a high rate of speed, there is a place where you can go to be alone with God is stillness and quietness. It takes commitment to carve out time and space to stop turning and slow down your pace of life. The time and space looks different for everyone, but one thing is common among all who say that regularly experience the presence of God and hear from Him… they spend time with God, away from the speed of life.
So today and throughout the holidays, we encourage you are be counter cultural and slow down. Your body will be glad you did and it gives your soul time to find rest in Jesus. And find time to be alone with Jesus, the very reason we celebrate Christmas at all! Now that is truly the gift that keeps on giving!
New Bern, NC