In a rock cavern inside a mountain in the scenic Hardanger fjord in western Norway is one of the Nordic region’s biggest power stations and inside that is a hall which is renowned for its acoustics. The whole 1,120-megawatt power plant was shut down recently in preparation for a concert to let an expert tune a grand piano undisturbed by the hum of huge hydroelectric generators.
Noise is part of life. For many, this is as true of our inner selves as it is of our environment. Thoughts, demands, anxieties and plans for the future fill our heads with an unending hum. The possibility of shutting that down, even if only temporarily, is profoundly attractive.
We can make opportunities to rediscover the quietness enclosed deeper within us.
Sometimes it’s best to remove ourselves physically from the places where we normally operate and to make sure we have as little to distract us as possible. Of course we can’t escape our own minds which may continue to hum. One exercise for dealing with this is to imagine ourselves pushing aside from the forefront of our thoughts each unwanted distraction to make space for stillness. We’ll probably have to keep doing this – distractions may never completely disappear – but the act of doing it has its own calming effect.
Where it isn’t possible to take time apart, deliberately using occasional quiet moments during our normal routine to be still can have a similar effect. If we want to perform well, we need quietness so we can attune ourselves properly and get in touch with our deeper selves. It doesn’t need an expert like the grand piano does – we can all do it for ourselves and it’ll help us be in harmony with the people around us and live lives which bring sweet music to the ears of others.
Read: Be still before God (Psalm 37.7)
Rejoice: in opportunities we create to be quiet.
Reflect: Have I got the balance right in my life between stillness and busy-ness?
Remember: Jesus too needed time alone
Resolve: to make use of moments when I’m alone even if most of my day is crowded with activity.