While I am actively being quiet, it occurs to me: We create too much excess noise. Most of us do anyway. We fill time up, moving from place to place, activity to activity, one piece of technology to the next; one noise to another. Our lives are full. And in that fullness, they are noisy.
But God spoke to Hagar near a spring in the desert, when she was all by herself. God spoke to Abraham when he was sitting, still and alone, in front of his tent. God spoke to Jacob in his dream and then again in a wrestling match, in the middle of the night, in the middle of silence. God spoke to Joseph in his dreams and again in the aloneness of prison; to Israel in the visions of night; to Moses while he was by himself. And then, in a most dramatic display, Got spoke to Elijah. He called him into His presence and sent a wind storm, and an earthquake, and a fire. But God was not in those. God came in a tiny whisper.
And the story line reveals itself over and over: God spoke to Samuel in the silence of rest and solitude, while alone in the temple; to the prophet Nathan, in the night; to Solomon in a dream and to Daniel in visions and during prayer.
Time and again, God speaks. In the silence. In the solitude. In the stillness.
Fast forward in time and we see God speaking (sometimes directly, sometimes through angels and in other ways) to Zechariah while he was alone burning incense in the temple, to Joseph in a dream, to Mary through an angel while she was alone, to Cleopas and his friend while they walked, and stood still, and broke bread; to Mary Magdalene as she wept alone in the tomb, to Saul on the road while he was blinded by the light, practically forced into silence so that he might listen and again to him (as Paul) in the night; to Ananias and Cornelius in visions, and to Peter on a roof while praying. The story unfolds and we are shown that we occasionally need to be still. We occasionally need to shut off all the noise invading our lives and be silent. Because God might be trying to speak.
"For God is not a God of chaos (or confusion, or disorder), but of peace." --1 Corinthians 14:33
And to hear Him, perhaps we need to practice stillness. And simply be quiet. Maybe then, in our stillness, we will be moved. Maybe then, order and peace will follow.