Peace in Quiet

Quiet can be unnerving. Practicing and experiencing quiet can feel awkward.

Technology. Multitasking. "Stuff." Busy-ness. Artificial noise. Micro-. Nano-. Fast.
All of these are good things.
We become accustomed to the collective din of these things. When we experience their absence, it can be uncomfortable. Peace and quiet can make us uncomfortable.

Be still, and know that I am God! -- Psalm 46.10

There was a time -- probably not more than five years ago -- when it never would have crossed my mind that I should have a phone on my person when I leave the house. Now I feel naked if I happen to make it out in public without my cellphone; I can get not more than five minutes away from home, and if I have forgotten my cellphone, I get nervous about the possibility of being in an emergency and not being able to contact someone.
I wouldn't have worried about that five years ago. The convenience of it, the actual advancement of having a small portable telephone in my pocket wherever I go, actually makes me a more nervous person. (And I don't need any help in that regard.)

When I first started watching "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood" with my girls, I found it off-putting. It struck me as weird, and Mr. Rogers seemed somehow creepy.
This was because I was not accustomed to the pacing of patience. Fred Rogers broadcasts at a different frequency than the outside world (and certainly any other world on television); he lives, breathes, and speaks in a different rhythm. His frequency is quiet, his rhythm is patient.

It can be very uncomfortable to encounter the rhythm of peace and quiet when one is used to the world's rhythm.

Sometimes Technology Keeps Us from Beauty. That's the title of a brilliant post by Robert Williams today.

We can talk on the phone as we eat fast food while using the ATM. Not only are we better at multitasking and becoming more productive and efficient, along with the increased pace, more is required of us. And so we hurtle through life faster and faster, becoming busier and busier. The result is that in our busyness we are becoming increasingly efficient at leading meaningless lives. -- Don Whitney, quoted at the BHT

You may notice my writing "sounds" differently here than it does there or there. That's on purpose. I'm trying to cultivate a different rhythm here. I'm focusing on my words more. It sounds weird even to me.
There will be less transitions. More "to the point"-ness.

I have kids. Sometimes when the house is too quiet I feel like something must be wrong.
In the real world, we react that way when things get too quiet, also.
We should learn to love that.

Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife. -- Proverbs 17.1

People use computers, cellphones, television, DVD players, VCRs, microwaves, video games, pagers, and all manner of other things to feel _______. Put whatever you want in there: important, useful, efficient, empowered, up to date, whatever. What happens if we strip ourselves of those things just for one day? For one week? For one month? For one season? (Forever? Perish the thought.)

So don't get rid of those things. Or do. But either way, seek out purposeful quiet. Get used to the way quiet sounds. You may hear nature. You may actually hear what your loved ones are saying.
You may hear God.

Can we find peace in quiet?