The boys and I have spent the last few days in Newcastle with my sister and her trio of lively, delightful little people. Much fun has been had, with outings interspersed with make-believe police chases and fire rescues as they sprint from one end of the house to the other. Billy is usually bringing up the rear, attempted to catch up with the crowd but at other times just stopping and standing as the maelstrom of running legs passes him by.
Amidst the days of ongoing noise, constant reminders to share and the joyful, sometimes plaintive, cries of children, ‘quiet time’ comes. As her children have gradually dropped their afternoon naps, my sister has wonderfully instilled the discipline of ‘quiet time’. And the miracle is that there’s genuine, happy anticipation for it. It involves quiet play or reading in bedrooms. It’s not for a great length of time, but it’s a welcome breather in the middle of the day.
As Billy stops and watches the flurry of people and noise pass him by, so this feels like stopping when the day might otherwise plough on at a pace. While the children are just learning to have ‘quiet time’, I sometimes feel like I forget how to do it myself as busyness bustles on.
Quietness allows my mind to move beyond daily demands. Quietness allows my heart to stir. Quietness allows for time in God’s word. Quietness allows for prayer in response to that word. Quietness allows for remoulding and reshaping and recalibrating.
And so I pray, and plan, for the time to happen. But also for a heart of happy anticipation, taking delight in the privilege of ‘quiet time’ with my God.