I’m craving quiet. I guess what I should say is that lately I’ve been indulging my craving for quiet. Maybe you noticed.
Compared to my friends I live a boring life. Even so, sometimes it seems too fast, too loud, too overwhelming. I blame the internet. I admit it’s not completely responsible, but it contributes more than its share to the number of thoughts racing through my mind. I’ve been thinking about politics, peace, family issues, long-distance friendships, vocation, self-discipline, and the many quirks of time: life is short; life is long; there’s not a moment to spare; I must take time to be; projects stretch to fill the timeframe I allow for them. And so on. My brain gets noisy.
A couple weeks ago, before I could talk myself out of it, I unfollowed the thirty or so blogs I’ve been following. I was spending a significant amount of time reading things that imparted no lasting value. Sure, I stashed away some helpful tips. Yes, I gained some inspiration. But I wasn’t gaining enough good to justify all the time I spent reading those blogs every day of the week. I needed more soul-deep words. I read Madeleine L’Engle, Corrie ten Boom, Brennan Manning, and Frederick Buechner. I went back to reading the Bible after a summer of mostly ignoring it.
My soul is crying out to know the living God but I can’t get to know him while my mind is frantically occupied with other things. The other things aren’t bad, but for me, right now, they are distracting. So I’m pulling, like a soft little hermit crab, into a protective shell where I’m listening for echoes of an enormous sea. When my heartbeat calms to the rhythm of its tides, maybe I’ll venture out again. For now, expect the silence to last a while longer.