One of the things I really appreciate about where we live is the relative quiet. Though we are part of one of the largest counties in the world (Los Angeles), our little corner is unusually quiet most of the time. Our house is more than 80 years old and doesn’t have double pane windows, but even so, except for the occasional helicopter overhead or an infrequent chorus of barking dogs, it’s pretty peaceful.
But even more important in some ways is the peacefulness inside our home. There is no television blaring, no telephones screaming at us and about the only thing I hear is the refrigerator cycling every once in a while and the occasional chuckle from Nan as she reads something on her laptop.
I realize this doesn’t describe many homes where kids and pets and interruptions and urban noise is the norm. But perhaps there are things you can do to generate more of an environment that is conducive to contemplative pursuits. Can you create a private space within your home? Sometimes it is as easy as installing a lock on your bedroom door and making it “off-limits” except in an emergency.
For others it might be a second bathroom with a tub and candles.
In our house we are fortunate to have a daylight basement which we now use as a theater & music room. For years it had been my music studio and sanctuary when others were living in the house with us. Even now it feels more “away” than other parts of the house. Do you have an unused or underused space in your home that can be converted to your own private haven, even temporarily?
Can you find an isolated corner of your yard or a small alcove in your apartment complex where you can drag a chair and block out noise with soothing music on an MP3 player? Is there a small park nearby? Can you lock yourself in your car in the garage? How about getting to work a few minutes before everyone else arrives?
Whenever we stay in a hotel with a pool, the “pool hours” are always posted. How about the same thing for the television in your home? Nobody will die. Promise.
I do my best thinking in the shower. I am convinced that if I could keep an endless supply of hot water coming from the showerhead I could easily solve the world’s problems. How about you? Do you have a similar place of refuge where ideas and creativity flow? My problem with the shower scenario is that I can’t write things down (I haven’t found a waterproof journal yet).
Jesus would often get away alone to a quiet place. He needed it and so do we. In this city environment we just have to be a bit more creative in finding it.