The world is a busy and noisy place: how and where do you find peace and quiet?

I don’t know if you have noticed but I think we live in a very noisy world. It seems to me at least wherever I go; whatever I am doing there is a backdrop of continuous noise of some sort or another. Whether it is cars, trucks or motorbikes as you walk the street or sit in the park, or the buzz of people talking at the shopping centres. The noise of radios, television, mobile phones and on and on it goes. It think it is probably true that to some extent we get used to it and cope with it to varying degrees.

There are all sorts of conversations we enter into each day. Some conversations are casual, short and of little depth or meaning. Some conversations are planned, deep and meaningful. Any conversation (that is polite) is in one way or another beneficial. A wave, a smile joined to a cheery hello, how are you, can be most uplifting. But there are some conversations that need a quieter place, with more time and a greater sense of purpose and direction. I know for me there are some conversations I can have at a café. Others need to be in my office or another person’s home. Conversations are essential to establish and maintain healthy relationships.

But when we have a conversation with someone the busyness and the noise around us can be a distraction. Sometimes the ambient noise and motion can limit the duration and content of a conversation. Our daily routines demand we must be here or there and this often dictates the time spent in conversing with our family, friend and colleagues. And dare I say it with God.

Prayer is a conversation with God. The gospels often portray Jesus as withdrawing to a quiet place for prayer, the hilltop, early in the morning, all night. Jesus clearly selected places and times where he would not be distracted as he conversed with his father in heaven. I am sure there were other times when Jesus prayed on the run so to speak. But there is clear pattern of deliberate and intimate prayer. Currently we are focusing on prayer as a church. A good starting place for each of us is to assess our own prayer life. Is it deliberate, is it intimate, does it allow space and time to hear from God. In short do you take time to be still before your heavenly father?

Blessings, Pastor Stewart