Listening to the Sound of Silence

Photo by Jon Sailer on Unsplash

Today’s world is getting busier and busier. It seems as though the anxieties, stresses, and the speed of the events going on around us are going faster and quicker every day. There are times when it seems like we just can’t catch up with the things that we would like to do. Our minds sometimes seem so overwhelmed with all the vast amounts of technology and information bombarding us…it can sometimes feel like we are going “over the edge.”

Well, I have good news for you time! The following is a simple story that I hope serves as a great reminder…for all of us…the importance of taking some time for ourselves each day!

There once was a farmer who discovered that he had lost his watch in his barn. You see, it was no ordinary watch because it had great sentimental value for him. The watch had been passed down to him through the generations and it broke his heart knowing that he lost the watch.

He searched and searched but he could not find the treasured heirloom. After much thought and contemplation, the farmer decided to enlist the help of a group of children that were playing outside the barn. The children looked and looked for the watch, but they just couldn’t find it.

The farmer was heartbroken…it seemed like the watch was lost forever. But just when the farmer was about to give up, a little boy came up to him and the farmer, “Mr. Farmer, can I look for the watch one more time?” The farmer looked at him and thought, “why not?” “It certainly wouldn’t hurt…after all your friends looked for a few hours and couldn’t find it,” the farmer said.

So, the farmer told the little boy to go back into the barn and continue his search.  To his complete surprise and astonishment, the boy come out, face beaming with pride, with the farmer’s watch in his hand!

The farmer was so happy and surprised! He asked the boy, “How did you find the watch? There were so many other people searching for it and they couldn’t find it, how did you discover it so quickly?”

The boy simply replied, “I did nothing but sit quietly on the ground and listen…in silence. Then I heard the ticking of the watch and just looked for it in the direction the sound was coming from.”

You see folks, in the hustle and bustle of today’s world, we all need to take some time for ourselves to be quiet and allow ourselves to enjoy the gift of relaxing, re-energizing silence. A peaceful mind will allow us to think better and more clearly than a mind full of turmoil, anxiety, and stress.

Allow yourself to take some time each day to silence your mind and discover how it will help your day run a little smoother and happier when you quiet your soul!

Breathing Prayer: Devotions for Anxiety

Photo Credit: Life Mental Health

Photo Credit: Life Mental Health

When anxiety’s got you in its grip, it’s hard to avoid worrying. But there’s a technique that can help. I call it “breathing prayer.”

By Julia Attaway, New York, New York

Can we talk anxiety? You know what I mean: that roiling inner whirlwind, the blinding, gut-wrenching, confusion-making state of being that takes over our hearts and minds from time to time.

When anxiety’s got you in its grip, it’s hard to avoid worrying about tomorrow. It’s difficult to adopt a Jeremiah 29:11 attitude. Sometimes it seems all we can do is shove our fears heavenward and hope God takes them away. I think there’s a better way.

Anxiety works on a very primitive level. It has a physical component which we can counteract by applying a physical remedy. Several years ago I learned that there’s actually a right way to breathe to reduce anxiety and stress. The Harvard Health Blog calls it breath control. The technique has certain similarities with prayerful meditation, and since it’s completely compatible with faith, I personally call it “breathing prayer.”

Try this: Close your eyes and inhale slowly, imagining pulling the Spirit in so fully that it fills every pore of your body. Make sure your stomach expands; you want to be pregnant with peace. Exhale slowly through your nose.

You can pray while you do this (though if you’re anxious when you start, you probably won’t think of it until after a few breaths, when your head starts to clear). Simple prayers work best:

While inhaling

While exhaling

Come Holy Spirit…

fill my heart

Lord Jesus…    

grant me your peace

Lord Jesus…         

I love you

If you practice when you’re not in the throes of wild anxiety, it will be easier to pray this way when you are. But “breathing prayer” is a good addition to any regular prayer time. Anything that clears the head and calms the body frees us up to hear God better. And that’s what prayer is all about.