Getting Acquainted With Quietness

Getting Acquainted With Quietness

Sister Miki Terayama - 28 February 2021

Weekend Devotion: Getting Acquainted With Quietness

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The world is a never ending supply of influences and voices that infiltrate our hearts and minds. And since young, I have never felt quite comfortable with quietness. Even when I am doing my school work or doing housework alone at home, I either have to listen to some music on my earpiece or leave the television on. When we get on the public transport, you see a large majority of people on their phones, either scrolling through, watching something or playing games. Of course, it is okay to release some stress and unwind a little through these channels of entertainment after a hard day’s work or being too compressed by some tasks. However, we have to start asking ourselves two things: The frequency and effects of us not being comfortable with quietness. Frequency meaning how often we need to be occupied by the companionship of people, of our phones or other channels. And effects, meaning how being so preoccupied all the time may affect our relationship with God and the people around us.

The Dependency of being Pre-occupied

There could be many reasons why people are having a high dependency on being pre-occupied. Some could just be our nature, some are easily bored, some are escaping certain insecurities or trying not to face some thoughts and worries. It is a quick but temporary escape. The bible warns us in Ephesians 5:15-16, “So, then, be careful how you live. Do not be unwise but wise, making the best use of your time because the times are evil.” If we are frequently needing to be in activities and events or burying ourselves in episodes of dramas or games to avoid quietness by ourselves, we must see that these patterns are, in fact, slowly drugging us away from a fulfilling and purposeful life as God’s children. We become addicted to these habits, instead of being invested in what truly feeds our spirits healthily, and that is our calling to enjoy the Lord’s plans for us, serve God and the people around us. We will become more and more insensitive and indifferent to the Holy Spirit’s leading. Now, we are growing to become a generation that find silences and quietness awkward. We would rather close that gap by having some “sounds”, any “sounds” at all. But God calls us to embrace the quietness He prepares for us, to be trained up in hearing and following Him in our daily walk, instead of being quick to fill it up with the wrong voices.

 

The Necessity of Spiritual Quietness

But before that, let us first talk about this quietness.

The quietness I am talking about today is not just a literal sense. It is not just about not doing or listening to anything and just sit there in stillness. The quietness I am talking about is directly linked to the stillness of our hearts, a break from the chaos in our minds. Of not rushing to occupy it with something or trying to break the “silence”, but to leave room for deeper introspection of our lives, as is, and give space for the Lord to convict and speak to us through the Holy Spirit. It allows room for us to become deeper and more critical thinkers, as we wrestle through real concerns, doubts or feelings. Proverbs 2:6-9 says, “For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding; he stores up sound wisdom for the upright; he is a shield to those who walk in integrity, guarding the paths of justice and watching over the way of his saints. Then you will understand righteousness and justice and equity, every good path.” We become more matured and wise in spirit because we get away from the “noise” of the world and face our weaknesses or hidden struggles face to face, testing and approving it with God’s words, instead of brushing it off or escaping into our mobile devices or events. We need to go into quietness in our spirits more so often, so that we can come back to the distracting world with more resolution and clarity about how God wants to lead us through instead.


How to start enjoying Spiritual Quietness?

But how do I practically get into enjoying this Spiritual Quietness now that I am so used to being pre-occupied by my own ways.

Reflect on the effects of the “noises” in your life

The truth about us is that we will not be motivated to change unless we see the pressing reason behind the need to do so. Now, one of the beauty of having spiritual quietness from time to time is that it gives us room to reflect and not avoid thinking through some real things we are going through. That includes thinking through the possible or “already-happening” effects that these channel of “noises” have in your life. I am not sure if you have heard of the term, “Revenge Bedtime Procrastination”. I was struggling through it for a long while. It is basically the way that overworked people choose to put off their bedtime hours so that they can reclaim some time for themselves like watching shows or scrolling through their phone till late into the night. I was desiring a lot of my own space to do what I want now that the kids are sleeping and I am free. But it had a lot of detrimental habit on my sleep patterns, my temper and my communication with my partner. Thankfully, during quiet times in the morning, it helped me realise the way it has seeped into my living. So then, we really need to have time for quiet reflections so that we can become more wary of where the enemy, Satan, stands.

Regulate and decrease the usage of “noisy” distractions

I understand that social media, Spotify, Youtube, Netflix, and even now, Disney Plus, may be a huge distraction to us because it is so readily accessible. So to take ourselves off it is a tall order to ask. But perhaps it would be more doable if we slowly decrease our usage of these channels throughout the day. Give ourselves some sort of time limit or a certain period of the day, like during lunchtime and 30 minutes in the evening. I am a music lover so it is really hard for me to forgo not having any music playing in the background when I am working or doing chores. But one way I find helpful to still my heart is to play soft instrumentals, instead of songs with more complicated melody and vocals. I mean, there are just many ways that we can use to progress towards filtering off the “noises” of our daily lives. So we can really start by intentionally identifying them and regulating them.

Keep turning to the right Voice

If in any case, we really do not like to be in quietness and require some form of “presence” in our alone times, fill that presence with a meaningful source instead. And by that, I mean always finding opportunities to immerse ourselves in the edifying Word of God. Joshua 1:8 says, “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.” There was once, I was talking to a sister. She is a full time housewife and when the kids are at school, she will have to rush through the housework. But she always left her speaker running as she listened to some past sermons from church, daily devotions or even worship songs. And sometimes it could be a section, a particular verse or key phrase she catches that ministers to her. So what I mean is, better something than nothing at all when it comes to edifying our own faith and relationship with God. Recently, I am also trying to shift pockets of my free time (like when I am on train or after lunch) to do some reading on my current book about Prayers. It is really hard at first but setting small goals helps, like just a short chapter a day or penning down a key point from what I received. For you, it could be a short bible reading a day, listening to Christian podcast, article, or whatever is more likely for you to start this journey of turning to the right “voices”. As Ephesians 6:11 says, “Clothe yourselves with the full armor of God so that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”

Dear brothers and sisters, let us not fall into the traps of avoiding quietness, but seeing from Jesus’ example that getting away from the “noise” is a necessity, just as He goes to desolate places and up mountains to pray alone. And when we start enjoying our quietness with the Lord, we can search the depths of our souls, hear God’s voice, constantly reexamine ourselves and go back to our daily living, leaving no foothold for Satan to work on us through the “noise”. God bless.

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Miki Terayama
miki.terayama@gmail.com

Miki is a full-time ministry staff at The Blessed Run Ministries. She is a sister who shares a natural, God-given affinity with children and youths. She is married to Randy (NET Group Youth Leader) and has two little ones of her own, Liora and Jude. She is involved in the children, youth and social media ministries.

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