Our Loud Lives
I went on a silent retreat last weekend up in Oshkosh at the Jesuit Retreat House. I highly recommend it, especially if you are like my oldest granddaughter, Emily.
She texted me when I got home Sunday to ask how my weekend went. I told her it was so awesome and that I wished she had been there with me and she said, “Yeah, I wish I had been there too. I have such a loud life.”
I think she was referring to her two younger sisters who tend to raise the decibel level in their house on a regular basis. But her response got me thinking. Don’t we all live loud lives?
Every day, unless we force the quiet, our senses are bombarded with noisiness and our sense of the divine gets drowned out in the process. The hushed voice of goodness, serenity, contentment, and gratitude that is always there vying for our attention is masked by the loud voices of control, competition, disappointment, and fear, just to name a few.
It amazed me how peaceful I became once I went into the silence. Once I was able to calm the planner and the doer in me, which took a while, I had the energy to focus on just listening. And what I heard was a still, small voice calling me to rest. Calling me to Him.
We are about to enter into a loud time of the year. With the holidays and all its noise, we have to make a concerted effort to find the silence that draws us closer to God.
Start by checking your phone less often throughout the day. Ignore the lure of your laptop or iPad. Stop and just gaze out the window of your office or home at some point in the day. Close your eyes and take a minute vacation. Whatever it takes to begin to form new habits that help resist the pull of the loud life.
Gratitude was one of the hushed voices that grew in intensity when I was on retreat. Gratitude for my family, my health, my work, and for all of you.
I wish you a blessed Thanksgiving and many moments of silent wonder.