Artificial or man-made noise is programmed into every aspect of daily life. It invades without invitation and produces a clamor that will not be quelled. It is like the companion you wish would leave, but instead overstays their welcome. Whether there is an awareness or not, these familiar noises distract the mind, and as a result, deadens one’s innate ability to hear God’s voice, making it difficult to move forward in the spiritual life. God communicates His love and desires for us when we are quiet. He gives us rest from the clatter of the world, which never stops. But we must stop if we want to receive everything that the Lord wishes to give us.
We have been vacationing in the Lake of the Ozarks for more than 25 years. The house looks out over the main channel of the lake and is surrounded by the woods. It is a really beautiful place. I love to sit on the dock and read or watch the boats go by. They are beautiful but also very loud. They don’t bother me too much, but holiday weekends are pretty rough. As you can imagine, there is a lot of noise during the day and even into the evening. The yachts come in all different shapes and sizes and they move pretty fast across the lake. The cigarette boats are brightly colored and super loud on purpose. Those guys love to show off for sure. They fly across the lake at high speed, so if you want to catch a glimpse of those beauties, you need to react fast. The Jet skis love to jump the giant waves and then scream into private coves and whip around like they own the place. Those are the people that aggravate me. And then there are the pontoon boats that mosey across the lake at a snail’s pace compared to the rest. It is comical watching them try to maneuver through the massive waves left behind by all the other boats. I think they are usually rentals. Those people have no idea what they’ve gotten themselves into until they’re out there. With this constant lake activity, the waves rush toward the shore and crash into the dock, forcefully rocking us up and down. It is crazy.
“There are times when God stills the noise of the world to draw our thoughts to Him.”Wendy
But in the morning, the lake is like glass, and the soft breeze gently pushes the waves upon the shore in a rhythmic pattern that soothes the soul and lifts the heart and mind to God. There is usually a boat or two trolling around the edge of the lake. If I didn’t see them, I wouldn’t even know they were there. And then there is the resident egret crane Clarence as my dad calls him. He stands on the edge of the dock completely still, waiting for a fish to swim to the surface of the water. As soon as he spots one, he plunges his head into the water and rips a fish out so fast, if you weren’t looking, you missed it. One morning, I sat on the deck and watched a bald eagle devour a fish. It was incredible. I felt like I was in a national geographic film. I have never seen a bald eagle in all the years we’ve been going to the Ozarks, and I haven’t seen one since. So I think what I am trying to express is that there are times when God stills the noise of the world to draw our thoughts to Him. There is a difference between the commotion of the day and the tranquility that morning brings. Early in the morning, our senses are heightened to the hums of the earth as nature summons us to remember the Lord and the gift of His creation. This brings joy and gives us rest from the anxieties and worries of life. This is the peace I think we are all searching for.
“It seems like life controls them instead of them controlling their life.”Wendy
Life can be hectic and there is so much that demands our attention. We are often pulled in many different directions, but we still need to take the time to relax so that we can be rejuvenated. We probably all know someone so busy, that it seems like life controls them instead of them controlling their life. If they’re not working, they’re on their phone or they have to go to the store. It’s always something. If they have a free day, they are either planning a party or going to one. If you text them, they don’t get back to you for days, and when they do, it is a thumbs-up symbol. And if you actually get to visit them, the television is blasting in the background, and the house is a disaster. You kind of feel bad for them because their mind is always focused on something other than what is right in front of them. The noise of the world is so familiar to them that peace is their enemy. They don’t know how to stop and take some time to just be quiet within ourselves. This is the work of the devil.
Peace is a gift from God, a grace that enables us to endure the turbulence of this life. If you want to find peace and live a simpler life, then you must take some time each day to shut the noise of the world out and place yourself in the presence of God. It is there that you will receive the peace only He can give. People are going to do that in different ways. I spend time in prayer and silence before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament as often as I can because, in His presence, nothing is lacking. All of me is filled with the sweetness of God. And when I can’t be there, or my day is just reeling out of control, Jesus finds other ways to bring my thoughts back to Him so that He can restore that peace within me. He wants to do that for everyone. All we have to do is take the time to stop and open ourselves to Jesus so that He can fill us once again. And for those people who don’t know how to stop; we can pray that they will recognize the moments in their lives when God reveals His Himself to them in some beautiful, yet subtle way.