One of my most favorite past times is spending the weekend at the lake with my husband. It’s a restorative experience–like java to my soul! Our days there are relatively uneventful–just filled with fishing, boating, or sitting around talking to family and friends.
Sometimes I take a book or my laptop with me with the intention of getting some work done, but most of the time I just sit around doing nothing at all. These visits are a welcome change from my daily routine, which leave me strengthened and refreshed–full of insight and inspiration.
When we return from the quietness of the lake, I always become hypersensitive to the noise back at home. We live close to a highway and the freeway noise is magnified by the contrast of the still mornings on the lake when the only thing that disturbs the quiet is a splash from a fish jumping in the water. The difference between the restorative nature of “quiet” versus the depleting tendency of “noise,” becomes apparent.
“Noise” comes from the latin word for “nausea” or “seasickness.” It reflects a type of disturbance that is caused by too much movement or too many loud and confusing sounds. When we apply this definition to our present day, noise is reflected by too much work, time on the internet, television, or too much time talking on the cell phone. The result of this imbalance is “seasickness” in the form of irritability, fatigue, overwhelm and depletion. Like the non-stop echo of traffic on a busy freeway, a noisy life is cluttered with busyness and too much activity.
In contrast, “quiet” comes from the Latin word “repose” which, according to The New Oxford American Dictionary, means “a temporary rest from activity, excitement or exertion; a state of peace, composure, and harmony.” Quiet is reflected by time to think, pray, rest, play, love, and be refreshed. The Bible says, that it is in quietness and confidence that you will find strength (Isaiah 30:15) and it is a “quiet and peaceable” life that we are encouraged to live. (1 Timothy 2:2)
See, when you work, you pour out as you give to your family, friends, customers, or clients. This activity draws from and takes away your strength. But when you balance your work with times of rest and quiet, you position yourself to receive by allowing the world to give back to you. Quiet times and restful places are like God’s fueling stations designed to strengthen and restore you.
If you are weary or depleted and need to be recharged, turn down the noise in your environment–find a place of peace and quiet. You don’t have to go on an elaborate vacation to experience restoration. You can find your “quiet place” right at home. Just choose a “quiet time” and turn off your computer, television or blackberry. Leave an auto response letting your friends and family know that you are away –busy working on all the things that you are “NOT” going to do at the moment! Go get your ipod, a good book or nothing at all. Kick your feet up or snuggle in your favorite chair and then…turn up the quiet!