Noise-Free Zone

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Years ago I discovered a prayer that stuck with me.  I wrote it down and used to keep it at my desk.  When I would leave a meeting and the blood pressure started rising I would glance over at this little scrap of paper that exuded peace and comfort.  The prayer is written by John Baillie who has long since passed.  In fact, I believe it was originally written in 1949.  The words have travelled through the eras and come to rest today on, of all places, a blog in the techno-sphere.  Baillie could have never imagined it.   My most favorite passage in the prayer is:

Let not the noises of the world ever so confuse me that I cannot hear you speak

That resonates with me.  Noise is everywhere–the texts that fly across my phone, or the posts on Facebook, emails that load up every five minutes, the chit-chat of the parking lot moms, advertisements, traffic, the grocery list I have to remember, the dinner I have to plan, an order that must get out or a problem that needs solving, the telemarketer who needs to share the best news ever, the child who is yanking at my pants leg, the husband who needs to know where his sock is.   It builds and builds to decibels that explode in my head sometimes.  Then when I remember:

Let not the noises of the world ever so confuse me that I cannot hear you speak

I find peace and quiet.

I try to listen.

Joy.

So find a shredded piece of paper and write this down.  Stuff it in your glove compartment or your purse.  Put it in your wallet or on your visor in the car.  Jam it into a drawer or attach it to your fridge.  Find your noise-free zone.

O God within me, give me grace today to recognize the stirrings of your Spirit within me and to listen most attentively to all you have to say to me.  Let not the noises of the world ever so confuse me that I cannot hear you speak.  Suffer me never to deceive myself as to the meanings of your commands; and let me in all ways obey your will, through the grace of Jesus Christ our Lord.

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