It had taken longer than usual to corral a classroom of 4 year olds on to the rug for morning circle time. I had a schedule to keep! There was simply no more time for complaints about picking up toys. No time for extra bathroom breaks. And definitely no time for more squabbles about who was going to sit closest to the teacher.
Finally…we were ready. Or so I thought. I heard a very long sigh escape my lips as I got up…again! I went to the little girl who had turned her back toward the group. She had sulked during breakfast. She had thrown herself to the floor when asked to help put away toys. And now I found her buried in her coat.
So much for the schedule!
Kneeling down beside her, I whispered if there was something wrong.
I heard a little cry beneath the hood. And then she looked up at me and said, “I just want somewhere quiet.”
Suddenly, there was no age difference between that little four year old and that 64 year old. I, too, wanted to sulk, to throw myself to the floor, to bury my head, and desperately desire somewhere quiet.
Turns out that both student and teacher shared a common medical explanation for our distress. Here is a simplified explanation:
“Researchers have found the part of the brain that regulates emotions, the amygdala, appears to take over the hearing part of the brain when people hear extremely annoying sounds. It’s a possible distress signal from the amygdala to the auditory cortex. When listeners heard an annoying sound, activity in the amygdala increased and took over regulation of the auditory part of the brain.” 1
No wonder we were a basketcase of emotions!
Like the never ending sounds of cicadas, I am often disturbed by the noise of a crowd, the noise of the world, the noise of life, the noise of my worries.
During those times, I am still learning to attune my listening ear to someone greater! The Lord offers us His words. He offers a calm voice. He offers strength when we are weak from the noise. He offers a quiet place.
Psalm 46:10-11 “Be still, and know that I am God!”
Psalm 107:28-29 “Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and He brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed.”
Psalm 46:1-7 “God is our refuge and strength, a great help in times of distress. Therefore, we will not be frightened when the earth roars, when the mountains shake in the depths of the seas, when its waters roar and rage, when the mountains tremble despite their pride.”
Psalm 37:7 “Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for Him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.”
Psalm 62:5-6 “Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken.”
Isaiah 40:31 “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
And because I have faith in the Lord’s ability to quiet the noise in my troubled world, I can claim with total assurance the words found in 1 Samuel 12:16. “Now then, stand still and see this great thing the LORD is about to do before your eyes!”
Will the political noise of the world still exist? Yes. Will there still be ethical clamors? Yes. Will I still be tempted to succumb to the noise of my own personal worries? Yes.
But this I firmly claim…
I have somewhere quiet…and it is in Him!