Noise, chatter, cluttered thoughts, emails and breaking news, text messages, weather bulletins – lots to hear and lots to filter. So much around it is hard to decide what to really listen to. Sometimes I feel surrounded with things to think, and decisions to contemplate, when I just want quiet and peace. How do I settle down and put aside the internal chatter and get away from the external noise?
Wisdom to make decisions, understanding to know choices, they do not come from hanging around the television, or noisy places, or even trying to collect thoughts. Caring about hearing from God, Who is Wisdom, Himself, meant I needed to plot real time away from listening or reading opinions of others, and just “be”.
Once I began to discipline myself to be set apart to just be quiet, to get a pen and paper handy and ask God what He wanted to show me about my decisions and my ideas, I found it hard to accomplish. Why? Inevitably that was exactly when the neighbors outside my windows would have noisy conversations, or the phone would ring, fire engines would go by, etc. So, what to do? My desire was great, and sometimes I got rewarded when I tried to be still.
My desire to continue to press in for real wisdom from God taught me that I needed to ask for grace, first of all, when I pulled aside. I was “trying” too hard. Then, when I was reading the Bible to help my thinking one afternoon, I had a passage with a lovely word jump out at me. QUEST. “Making your ear attentive to skillful and godly Wisdom and inclining and directing your heart and mind to understanding (applying all your powers to the quest for it.) (Amp. Bible, Prov.2:2
That lovely word, “quest”, made me feel like a person connected to the centuries before me. Like a pilgrimage, a journey with an end to it. “He hides away sound and godly wisdom and stores it for the righteous.” Prov. 2:7a, I love it. I know God rewards a seeker and it makes me feel like I have a successful plan and a desired end when I set myself apart of listen and to find out what God would say to me.
“Wisdom is quiet.” Proverbs 1:33