Paul was still hoping to coax more miles out of his beloved car. It’s “best if used by” expiration date was long past. It burned oil. An engine light flashed on the dash. Only some of the electric windows worked. The air conditioner had gone caput.
Though the four-door former luxury sedan served well on fishing excursions and road trips less than twenty miles, going beyond the limit brought certain excitement. Any driver should heed the warning, “Do not pass go. Do not get paid. Go straight to the shop and pay $200.”
To anyone who would listen, Paul chimed, “It’s still a good car.” He had faith in his wheels.
On the way to church in his favorite four-door model, Carol shouted over the wind noise, “Is this about the same as your rides in the Air Force helicopter with the doors open?” Because the car windows had to be wide open in the heat and a most recently broken window taped up with plastic and duct tape flapped, the roar was louder than ever at highway speeds.
She repeated the question cupping her hands around her mouth.
“Probably. Yeah, I guess so.” Paul shouted as he looked at her. “But this is a quiet car! Just wait and see.”
As they pulled to a stop at a light, Carol continued hollering, “Do you have any ear protection in your trunk along with the fishing stuff?” But slowing down, the car quieted down so much that she thought the engine stalled.
“Ear protection? Why are you shouting?” Paul wanted to know. “See, I told you, Carol. This car is quiet!” He added in a whisper to prove his point, “and it’s still good!”
Too much noise! It’s common these days. When a cacophony of sounds clash in our everyday life, it challenges all in the chance to think and reflect.
The author’s interpretation of people’s hierarchy of needs includes food, water, shelter, love, fun, and laughter, but also quiet time.
At least on the quiet time, Jesus and the author agree. It does a body good. It is a gift. It is also a necessity for hearing God and fostering personal spiritual growth.
Getting into a routine is a good thing—such as quick devotionals at the breakfast table. But seeking God and growing, regardless of whether married or single, takes time to oneself, prayer, and a place to listen—away from media, traffic, or the wind noise of a car.
After the Old Testament prophet Elijah had a great day with God incinerating Elijah’s sacrifice with a column of fire followed by a torrent of rain after a lengthy drought, Elijah was threatened by the evil queen, Jezebel. He was afraid and ran for his life.
Under the quiet of a desert broom tree, he brooded, thought and prayed. And he heard God.
“The Lord said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.’ Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave.” [1 Kings 19:11-13 NIV]
And that gentle whisper is often how we hear God’s voice.
So put the noise of the world and Paul’s car behind you. Seek a quiet place. God will be there to touch and encourage you.
[Jo Russell is a Christian speaker, author of articles, anthology contributions, and award-winning Which Button Do You Push to Get God to Come Out? A Humorous Devotional for Women. available from Amazon.com, her speaking engagements and website, www.button-to-god.com. Enjoy chuckles and speeches, tips and excerpts in website options and weekly blog.]