“When the world gets to be too much, how do you best re-energize yourself?”
This is the question my friend Kim Castleberry asked her blogging buddies this week. The answers vary, but I am not the only one who likes to get outside and spend time in nature.
A lot of people don’t like to be alone with themselves and their thoughts. They have to have the radio on in the car, they turn the TV on the minute they get in the door, they think if there’s another person in the room one of them has to be talking… you get the picture.
I remember when my first husband had been in the hospital for several months, and I’d come home to an empty apartment, I would turn the TV on whether or not I had any intention of watching or even listening to it. More recently, when all of my kids were still at home, I often clapped my headphones on and turned my music up so that it would drown out all other sounds, and I could concentrate on my writing. Now that only Nathaniel is at home, I hardly ever listen to my music. I prefer the silence!
“Be still and know that I am God.” ~ Psalm 46:10
How can I hear His still, small voice if I don’t quiet my mind?
Ten years ago, when I discovered I have ADD, I read Scattered Minds, by Gabor Mate MD, who himself has ADD. Among the many suggestions he offers for minimizing the negative aspects of ADD, and maximizing the positive, he says this about getting out into nature:
“There is matchless unity, harmony and peace in nature — all that is lacking, in other words, in the ADD mind. Many parents will note that the hyperkinetic brain or body or mouth of their son or daughter will gradually slow down after a few short days away from the hurly-burly of everyday urban life. The adult, too, neglects an important need if she deprives herself of regularly experiencing the outdoors.”
That is wonderfully true for me. Whether working in the garden, camping at the lake, or sitting by the river… there is something about the sight of the wildflowers and forest creatures, the sound of the birds singing and the leaves rustling in the wind, the feel of the sunshine and breezes on my face…
This past week we were given an assignment that will take that a lot further. Imagine spending two or three DAYS unplugged from any electronic devices including cell phones, in complete silence. For most of us, that means leaving home for a couple of days — which unfortunately I am not able to do right now. But I would love, love, love to do it in the summer time! Just go somewhere alone, where I don’t have to speak a word, and just commune with God. Imagine how that would clear away the clutter — clarity would reign!
Just the couple of hours here and there that I have spent in silence have shown me how valuable an exercise it would be.
In quietness and confidence shall be your strength
~ from Isaiah 30:15