The Silence Detour

On a recent jaunt up into the Smoky Mountains for morning hike, I noticed several signs along the roadside. Obviously, there were the signs that pointed to important points of interests, various hiking  trails and sites, as well as directional signs to get travelers back to wherever they came from. And then there were these signs: images

Each time we passed one, it was as if the sign was calling my name, beckoning me to come spend some time in quiet. It was as if my heart longed to simply walk a path and enjoy stillness. Although, I was about to hike a trail with my husband, something about this simple sign was alluring. We never stopped to take a look-see at what stillness was to be experience on such a walkway. Still, I can’t shake the simple entreaty that this sign promised.

I know the feeling of traveling life’s road and needing a moment to get out of the car and just escape down a quiet path. How many times, though, have I ignored that need? How many times  did I ignore the Voice that suggested I take a moment and rest?

These days I’m learning to stop the car and head down the quiet walkway. Although I haven’t visited one here in the Smokies, I have made a routine of taking time for myself, for seeking some silence. In a world where technology makes it nearly impossible to disappear for any length of time, we must vigilant in finding time to be still, to be quiet. The constant noise of the world drowns out the voices we need to hear. The voice of God, obviously, grows soft in the midst of worldly chatter, but also other voices that need us to hear them.

When was the last time we stopped to ponder a conversation with a family member: a child, spouse, mother, or father? Maybe we had a chat with a friend that still haunts us on some level because we sensed something wasn’t quite right. Or just maybe, our bodies are asking us for a little silence – for a chance to let our brains rest, to be without responsibilities, music, and conversations.

In taking time for “Quiet Walkways” we allow ourselves a chance to truly find answers and peace in the silence. We find truth in silence, too. Sometimes it’s a truth we don’t want to hear, but the silence can allow us to both hear it and accept it.

So how do we take these hushed detours? We get intentional! Begin now looking for a place that can become your quiet walkway. It could be a nearby park, nature trail, or simply the chair on your front porch. Schedule a time to “walk the trail” and then keep it. Finally,  turn off the phone and music and just listen. Don’t try to come up with answers to problems, just enjoy the silence.

And if God’s voice so chooses to whisper in that silence – keep your lips sealed, so you can hear what He has to say.

Where do you find “quiet walkways” in your life?