Several nights ago my four year old daughter came into my room and woke me up. She said, "Daddy, I can't sleep. My noise machine went off." I stumbled into her room, turned her noise machine back on and tucked her into her bed. I couldn't help to think, even at 3 am, that I have set a horrible pattern in her life.
The next day, I thought about it even more. I started thinking about my own life and how I struggle in silence. I always have noise on: the tv, music, texting or twittering, the computer, etc. Rarely ever do I find myself sitting in silence. However, it's not always a physical noise that I hear. Sometimes it's the noise of worry, or fear, or confusion, or people around me complaining or arguing. I many of us have a problem with silence.
When Jesus was teaching his followers how to pray he said this in Matthew 6:6 -
"But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your father, who is unseen."
Jesus also would go off by himself and spend time with the Father, away from the noise of other people.
Here is how I am trying to apply this to my life and would challenge you to as well:
1. Have a place to go pray. Maybe it's a spare bedroom in your basement, or a walk in closet, or your porch. When you want to spend time with your Father, go to this place. This doesn't mean it's the only time you can pray, but have an intentional place.
2. UNPLUG: This one is the hardest for me. However, I understand I need to change and I am trying to do that. I am going to attempt to not listen to the radio as I drive to my office in the mornings. I am going to unplug on my day off, which means not twittering (writing or reading them.) What technology do you need to unplug from?
3. Pray through your emotions: For me, worry has been one of the main things I have had to deal with. The noise of worry can be loud and overwhelming at times. I have learned to turn my worries into prayers. What would it look like for you to pray through your emotions? To pray when you feel tired, or stressed, or worried, or afraid of the future, or regretting the past. Physical noise can get in the way of communicating with God, but I think the noise in our head can be even a bigger barrier. Try today to turn your feeling and emotions (noise) into prayers.