5:23am

 

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I look at my watch.  5:23am.

The dog has to pee.  So I climb out of bed and stumble to the back door.  Instead of trying to coax him out like I usually do, I decide to go out with him.

I look up at the sky, still dark.  It takes a moment for my eyes to adjust.  I realize I’m looking up at the moon, and a star, overhead.  Probably a planet, I think.

And then I hear it.

Nothing.  Or just about. There’s the distant chirps of crickets.  The slight hum of wind in my ears.  But mostly, it’s the sound of silence.

No beeps or ringtones.  No traffic or dogs howling.  No distant laughter.

No arguments or small talk.  No spam.  No memes.  No Netflix.

No politics, no announcers, no commentary.  No soundbites.

It is unexpectedly wondrous, there at the beginning of a new day, to pause and reflect on a quiet world.  God’s creation, mostly muted.  I wonder if this is what it was like at 5:23am on the 6th day, before God made the noisy land animals.  Before God made us.

Most days, especially lately, the world is too loud for me.  Humanity makes too much noise.  Puts too many opinions out into the ether.  Falls into camps and dukes it out on the nightly news.  Most days, especially lately, I’m just weary of it all.

I look down at my dog, Tom Petty.  He’s ready to go back inside for another hour of sleep.  He seems unaffected by the vast quiet around him. He’ll be back to barking when the sun has risen.

As for me, I rediscover something I thought was gone from the world forever.  Silence.  It is the most precious moment of my week, so far.

In this Nothing, is Something.  Beneath it all, God is here, a divine finger pressed against God’s lips.  Shhhh.

I am reborn.  Recreated.

I look at my watch.

5:25.

Have a great week,

Mitch
shh____by_alyssaliana

 

Siolence.


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It’s 5:05am.

The room is dark, except for the tiny dot of light from the lamppost outside my window.

My wife breathes quietly beside me, and off in a distant room I hear a low hum.  Probably the refrigerator.

Other than that, everything is still.

The world is asleep, mostly.

I should be too, for another hour or two, but the calm and quiet around me has captured my attention.

Funny, how peaceful things are outside,

because meanwhile… inside?

IT’S A CIRCUS.  A CROWDED DEPARTMENT STORE.  AN AIRPORT TERMINAL.

MY OWN HEAD IS LIKE AN ALARM CLOCK WITH A BROKEN SNOOZE BUTTON!

My “things to do today” list flashes past me like the crawl on the bottom of a 24 hour news station.

Highlights (and lowlights) from yesterday rattle around my brain.

It’s not just my brain making noise.

My heart seems to have woken up early, too. Worries and fears explode like water balloons filled with angst instead of water.

And is that my own voice I hear shouting at me with ideas and strategies and lists and details?

I guess it is.

Why am I doing this to myself?

Although you wouldn’t know it if you were standing in the corner of my room, there’s a complete racket going on inside my not-so-sleepy head.

i hate when this happens.

When the world presents me with silence…

and my own mind responds with violence.

I’m not alone in this, am I?

Insomniacs, workaholics, worriers, and folks like me who just have a busy week ahead may all be able to relate to the sensation of Siolence:

Silence on the outside, violence on the inside.

You know, the world seems to so seldom give us an opportunity for peace, it’s a shame to miss even one.

Actually, God is the one who prescribed Sabbath time. It’s meant to be a regular part of our lives – an opportunity to cease from all of our busyness, inside and out.

No violence. Just silence.

. . . . .

It’s 6:52am now.

Instead of just stewing in my own personal edition of CNN, I got up and made some coffee. I prayed. I wrote this devotion.

It turns out I didn’t have to face this Siolence lying down (literally).

Just like Jesus, getting up early in the morning and going off by himself to pray, I accepted this invitation to silence and welcomed the peace of Christ into this brand-new day.

This beautiful day.

Whatever comes, I’m ready to embrace it…

(including, I hope, a half an hour nap at some point.)

Have a great week,

Mitch

Psalm62_5-2

A Perfect Pause

images (5)At 3am this morning, I woke up to the sound of it.

It was the sound of quiet.

I turned over in bed and rubbed my eyes, and just listened.

What an amazing sound.  I was aching for it and hadn’t even known.

Just…quiet.

I lay there, not thinking.

That’s what typically messes up my attempts at quiet–my own thoughts start filling up my head.

But not this morning.  I think my brain was still mostly asleep.

And that was nice.

I wish I could convey the peace of that silence,

but it’s hard to use words to describe a lack of words.

There. It was like that.  A perfect pause.

I was listening to God, listening to Me.

And it sounded wonderful.

Have a great week,

Mitch

SPAM

Some People Are Mean.

Some Politicians Are Meddling.

Some Products Are Misleading.

No matter how you add it up, it’s all SPAM to me.

I get too much SPAM.

I’m not just talking about unwanted email messages. I’m talking about unwanted info. Too much input.

Junk mail in my mailbox. Pop-up ads on my computer. Pseudo-reality on the TV. Annoying posts on Facebook.

And don’t even get me started on Twitter.

Everywhere I turn I get another opinion, another blog, another political commentary. Everywhere I look I see another link to click, another coupon to redeem, another group to join.

Can you hear it? The babble? It seems like it’s everywhere these days. A constant cacophony of gossip and rhetoric and sarcastic remarks, all punctuated by cute pictures of kittens in roller-skates or somebody’s spectacular wedding disaster.

I think it’s getting louder! The you-know-what is getting deeper! The SPAM is taking over!

Sometimes I just want to yell

STOP!!!

Sometimes I pray for God to knock over this tower of babel and send us scurrying. But then I think…

A tower? With all this noise and confusion, how could any of us accomplish anything so grand? No, we have created a tower of SPAM, and something has to give.

Hmm. Maybe if I’m a little less vocal, and you’re a little less vocal, we’ll find some peace and quiet.

I don’t know. It seems like alone, we’ll never make it. It would take a miracle to calm this storm.

But God came in a still small voice.

And Jesus calmed the raging seas.

And the Spirit finds the quiet center.

So… Predict A Miracle.

Faith In Love Trumps Every Racket.

Have a good week,

Mitch