I’m a commuter. Each day I hop in the car and venture out onto the highway en route to my job. The morning drives are usually peaceful and uneventful with a podcast, preaching, or playlist to keep me company. There are mornings, however, where I keep the car stereo silent and let my thoughts meander with the familiar hum of tires on the pavement. There are times when I just need a break from the noise.
The last flight I took was to California, and I marveled at the peaceful atmosphere above the clouds. There is no clutter, no obstructions, no distractions up there. I think of this when I need a break from the daily grind. There is something almost sacred about silence, and my calm commutes are as close as I can get to Christ in the garden.
When reading of the last hours of Jesus before his crucifixion, I notice a familiar pattern. He got away to pray. He rose above the noise around him and centered his heart and mind. This strategy dates all the way back to his childhood when in the midst of a holiday celebration he sat in the temple to listen and learn. Again, we see this practice when he ventured into the wilderness before beginning his ministry. Finally, he spends his last night in Gethsemane focusing on the task at hand before placing the world on his shoulders.
I find peace when I step back from the hustle and bustle of life. In the whirlwind of back to school, with emails and sports schedules, projects and deadlines, essays and lectures, it is easy to let the noise consume us. Even apart from academia, our jobs and families can sometimes blend in a symphony of cacophony.
I recommend you set aside some time each week to break through the clouds and rise above the noise. To be clear, all our productive work and precious family time is not a burden. Fulfilling God’s plans for our life in ministry and marketplace is a blessing for sure! I am simply remembering the commandment of a Sabbath, which reminds us all that it is important to rest, recharge, and refresh.
On these winding roads with little to listen to but droning engines and the occasional clicking blinker I have meditated on dreams. I have processed grief. I have stewed on sermons, planned conversations, and even replayed the events of the day to learn and grow from my choices. All these things would not be possible if I continually piped in someone else’s voice through my speakers. There are days where we must find a quiet space, seclude ourselves, and rise above the noise. You may find that the only ones up there are you and God.
Be blessed and encouraged.