We live in a world saturated with distractions and noise and, sadly, we’ve become way too accustomed to it. Somewhere along the way, it became the new normal. And now our fleeting attention spans actually yearn for the chaos! We find ourselves surfing hundreds of channels and scrolling through endless status updates without a second thought. It’s just what we do.
But poet T. S. Elliot summed up our culture like this: “Where shall the world be found, where will the word resound? Not here—there is not enough silence.” He’s right. We’ve totally lost sight of the deep benefits that come from silence and solitude, two concepts that Jesus understood perfectly.
It’s no coincidence that after Christ’s baptism, the very first item on his to-do-list was to retreat into the wilderness for 40 days of solitude. Just him and the Father. All to prepare him for the temptations that were soon to follow. (See Matthew 4.) And it should come as no surprise that, before one of his most important decisions he would make here on earth (the choosing of his disciples), he “went up on a mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night.” (Luke 6:12) Over and over again, we see Jesus taking very seriously the call to retreat into the silence and pray, especially before big moments and decisions.
Then there’s you and me. I think that, if we’re honest with ourselves, we’ll admit we just keep barreling through this crazy, hectic life, diving head first into all our favorite forms of media, feeding every happy little distraction, even when we know there are important moments and decisions looming on the horizon. Not only is this not what the Bible prescribes, but the honest truth is that we couldn’t keep up this pace if we wanted to! At some point, our souls need rest. And, if we truly believe when the Bible says that Jesus is “the founder and perfecter of our faith” (Hebrews 12:1), then we should follow his example. And we should pay attention when he invites us: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (Matthew 11:28)
So, ask yourself these questions today: What will it take for me to retreat into the silence? To find solitude? What do I have to turn off or get away from today? When was the last time I came to Jesus to find rest for my weary heart? Is there a major decision for me on the horizon? Or important things happening at the church that I should be praying for?
Then, retreat. Take the time today to find that still place, that moment of silence, where you can be alone with the Father, where you can find rest.