Over the past decade social media in all its forms has been woven into our daily lives. Even though Facebook (2004), Instagram (2010), and Pinterest (2010), are relatively young, it is almost impossible to imagine life before these social media sites. They have forever changed our lives. No longer must we endure a moment of silence or boredom; instant entertainment is literally at our fingertips.
By frequently plugging into social media, we eliminate the opportunity for quiet in our days. We fill the time we used to think—to think about our day, someone we love, something God is whispering to us, how we want to rearrange the family room furniture, a decision we need to make, a card to send to a friend, or what to make for dinner.
Eliminating the quiet in our lives suffocates part of our being. We no longer have time for thought. Instead we gagged, tied up, and shoved into a dark closet what used to naturally take place in our minds. Noise and distractions now rant on the stage of our minds where our thoughts and emotions once danced, struggled, debated, reasoned, cried, laughed, and dreamed. When social media fills all the cracks and crevices in our day, it leaves us empty and lonely. Part of us is missing because it did not have the opportunity to be conceived, born, and grow.
Our creativity is also hindered when we don’t have quiet. Creativity needs quiet to hear the idea and develop it. Creativity will not shout over distractions. It sits quietly, waiting for a time to quietly share its idea before it finally evaporates .
About here I must give this disclaimer: I am not against social media. I use it. But we must use it wisely and intentionally and not let it become our default.
Over the past few years God has taught me the pricelessness of quiet. He has challenged me to pick up my phone less. To leave the TV or radio off more often. He has taught me to turn my thoughts to Him in the quiet. Do I do this well or as often as I should? No. I’m a work in progress. But the times I do turn down the noise and turn off the distractions, I am surprised but what God brings into my mind that I would have missed.
I have collected several ways to create a quiet space.
- When the kids were home I got up at 5:30am to find a quiet time. The habit just stuck. By creating this quiet space first thing in the day, I can hear from God and talk to Him. I am centered and ready for the day. I read the Bible, and often a little of a Christian book. I feel the author is my teacher, helping me understand and apply the Bible. I pray and keep track of my requests and God’s answers in a journal.
- Obviously, one way to create a quiet space is to not turn on noise (I’m not talking about your family). Just don’t. Let your house, office, or car be quiet.
- The next one is obvious too—do not pick up your phone or device. I limit the number of times I can check my phone—say at the top of the hour or mid-morning, midafternoon, etc.
- Check in with God. Use your bad habit of often checking your phone to check in with God. When you feel the urge to check social media, pray. Say “hi” to God. Chat with Him a bit. He would love it. Maybe review a verse that encourages you.
- Resist the urge to share every part of your day with someone when it is happening. Every part of our day does not need to be on social media or texted to all our friends. We can have parts of our day that we share only with God. If the event, meal, or funny thing your dog did is that amazing, share it yes, but later.
I hope these ideas help you plug into God more. I hope they help you become more of who God made you to be. I would love to hear about your experiences.
Brenda Garrison is an author and speaker who empowers women with the confidence to live their calling. Brenda is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Science Degree in Ministry Leadership with a Concentration in Women’s Ministry at Moody Bible Institute. She and her husband, Gene, are the parents of three young adult daughters and live near Metamora, IL.