A Pastor’s Ponderings: Finding Quiet

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Pastor Jeff WadeBy Pastor Jeff Wade, The Rock of Panama City Beach

I noticed that things are a little quieter around here today than usual. I just returned from a trip “into town” for a couple of things, something I wouldn’t have dared to do just even a month ago. I’m one of those people who strongly dislikes traffic. For those who know me, to catch me crossing Hwy 79 headed towards Pier Park would be an anomaly. I’ve just simply learned to, as best I can, adjust my life to living in a tourist town and avoid the mix of crazy PCB traffic. I’m very thankful for the thousands upon thousands of people who visit our beach every summer. I truly am. I just don’t know why they all must get on the road at the same time I need to be somewhere, haha. C’mon, you know this is true. You need something at Target… but it’s Friday afternoon… and you know people are coming off the beach headed out to eat… You’ve been there, right?

Do I really need to go out THAT badly?!?!

But today, it’s closing in on the end of September and things seem quiet. Traffic was light, the lines at the gas pump today weren’t long. I had no trouble checking out at the store. Parking was easy. It was just quiet.

I love quiet.

One thing that I have noticed being in ministry and pastoring people is that one of the greatest problems we encounter in this world today is the lack of ability to either BE quiet, or to be in a place where it IS quiet. Life is busy. The pace is fast. The kids have to be here, and the kids have to be there. There is work to be done, yard work to do, groceries to get, and dinner to be cooked. We have ball games, tee times, tennis matches, and business meetings. There are school events, church events, sports events, and family activities. It seems like there is time for everything under the sun except a quiet moment. And living in a fast-moving tourist town makes finding that quiet moment even more difficult than normal. If I’m being honest, even the “quiet” season isn’t as quiet as it was even four years ago when God called my family here. So why is this important?

It’s simple for me. I have learned that the most important moments of my day are those quiet moments that I get to spend with my Bible open in the presence of God. I think it’s also why we are constantly faced with the spiritual battle of busyness and distraction. The intent is to keep us from being able to get still, to get quiet, to read our Bibles, to worship, and to pray. These things are incredibly important to those belonging to God. I want to challenge you to stop for just a moment and consider all the ways that you are distracted. I also want to ask the question, when is the last time you were just still and quiet and alone with God?

I’m so in love with God’s word as contained in the Holy Bible. When I think about being quiet and battling busyness and distraction, I can’t help but think of Psalm 46:10 which says, “He says, be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth.”

As a believer and follower of Christ, I don’t see this as a suggestion or a recommendation. I see it as instruction for all those who love and follow Christ. Please stop for just a moment. Get somewhere you can be quiet and still. Know that he is God. And give him thanks for all the wonderful things he is doing in your life. It will change your entire outlook.