Someone on Facebook this past week posted this verse as her status:
But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. – Luke 5:16
I began pondering on that verse and immediately began thinking about how overwhelming life must have gotten for Jesus. With all the teaching and the healing and the walking. And not to mention the teaching and the healing and the walking. Jesus needed some time to go off by himself, be still and quiet and just pray.
I know for myself my life can get filled pretty quickly with what Stephen Rossetti refers to as external and internal noises. External noises are things like the television, the radio, the iPod, the Facebook, etc. Internal noises (which sometimes are louder than the external) are things like worrying about your work, or your family, or your friends; it’s relationships with others. “Our senses,” Rossetti says, “are bombarded with sounds that deafen the heart and the mind.”
It gets too loud! We can turn off the radio or the television, but our internal noises don’t turn off so easily.
Rossetti tells of how monks of the fourth and fifth centuries would keep rocks in their mouths “for three years” to “learn to be silent.” This idea may seem radical (or just plain crazy) but it says something about self-discipline. It takes, I have found for myself at least, a great deal of self-discipline to maintain an even balance between silence and noise. I find, for example, that when I turn off the radio/iPod while driving, those interior noises are given some much needed God-attention. I become more open to listen to God and those interior noises are soon calmed.
So, when you get overwhelmed by life’s exterior and interior noises, find your balance – your quiet center – and let God hit the off switch.