A Quiet Place

 

According to research, the average American is bombarded by somewhere between 247 to 850 commercial messages per day.  Some research puts the number near 3,000 messages per day.  Do all these messages have an effect on you? How do you react to such a massive earful telling us to….”Get it now!”, “Have it now!”, “Get thin!”, “Invest here!”, “Buy it here!”?

Such a huge number of messages tend to make me consider one of two things:

1) I do need more stuff and I’m behind….I need to hurry up; I won’t be feel complete without this new gadget….or

2) I’m getting depressed thinking about what I don’t have.  I want to escape the demands the world. (then we usually soothe our inadequacy with withdrawal or some kind of personal crutch)

How do you counteract this weight of commercial messages telling us we need more and we need it now? Do you have a quiet place to go that helps put the messages the world in proper perspective?  The worries of life can sometimes cause us to become self-focused (what I have, what I don’t have, what I need….) and can result in a sense of ‘not measuring up’ to the world’s standards.

For me, the messages the world sends my way create an anxiety and stress that’s not healthy.

Can you relate?

The song, “A Quiet Place” by Ralph Carmichael, made widely popular by a group called Take6, is about getting away to a quiet place to be alone with God.   The song is a poetic reminder of the need to establish and have “alone time” with God, especially given the busyness of our culture.

I have found that I have to try really hard to set aside that quiet space in my day. To have a quiet place means you have to have quiet time…..time with no words, no utterances, no sounds.

The song “A Quiet Place” reminds me of the healing power a quiet place for our souls.  The words are as moving as Take6’s beautiful a cappella singing.

There is a quiet place, far from the rapid pace, where God, can soothe my troubled mind.

Sheltered by tree and flower….there in my quiet hour with Him….my cares are left behind.

Whether a garden small, or on a mountain tall, strength and courage….there….I find.

Then, from this quiet place, I go prepare to face a new day, with love for all mankind.

There’s something really compelling and simple about this song.  Each sentence is packed with truth about what a quiet place is like:

A quiet place soothes the soul: Without a quiet place, our souls get dry and we become cynical, restless and anxious.   A quiet time with God gives us a calm and peace that the things of this world simply can’t deliver long-term.

A quiet place shelters us: When we are in our quiet place, we are sheltered from the arrows of the world, we find solace.

A quiet place requires time: An hour with God may sound like a long time, but it’s actually less than 7% of the day. If you are unable to stop for an hour a day and be quiet with God, then try 10 minutes or 20 or 30.   Bottom line, is we need to spend quality time with God.  Like a friendship, it’s hard to have a quality relationship in 4 minutes.

A quiet place gives to you: No matter where you are in your quiet place, you can gain strength there, you can gain courage there for the day ahead.

A quiet place empowers you to love:   We all pray for different things in our quiet time….for our friends, our success at work, our family, money issues, society, health, etc. But the song reminds us that a key end-goal of the quiet time is not me focused…it’s others focused – it’s being prepared to love mankind.

It’s hard to have love for mankind when you are tired and frazzled. It’s hard to have love for mankind when you are nervous and anxious and when you’re pre-occupied with the day’s plans and goals.  Without this quiet place, it can be really hard to love the people closest to you…those in your home.  We need prayer to ground us in God so we can love when it’s hard to love.

For ages Christians have practiced the act of meditation and prayer…..of having a quiet place. Why? Because being with God in a quiet place changes us.

When we reach out and go to Him for renewal and peace, we have strength for a new day……not a new day to focus on us (or me) but to give to others. You can give best to others when you are rested and have been in His presence.

You can hear the song “A Quiet Place” on YouTube.

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your quiet place park benchrequests be made known unto God.  – Philippians 4:6

Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord. Seek the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore.  – Psalms 105:3-4

And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites [are]: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen [do]: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as [it is] in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  – Matthew 6:5-12

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