By Brenda Jank
Peace and quiet.
They go together more then we’d like to admit. The profound absence of quiet in our lives is robbing us of the peace that God promises can and will defy human understanding.
Back in 2002, the last six months of my mom’s life reintroduced me to the life-saving nature of quiet. Monthly, then weekly trips from Indiana to Illinois placed me in a little white Escort, alone and quiet for 4 ½ hours at a time.
As a stay-at-home mom of five kiddos ages one to eight, I had forgotten such a world existed. God repeatedly met in those quiet hours, right where I was at, whether deeply burdened or stark raving mad. With the radio off, the quiet seeped into my heart. So did God.
After mom’s death, my aching heart grew limp. I knew what I needed. Were my quiet hours gone? Did I need to be tooling down I-80 in order to meet with God for an extended time alone with him? Could we transition our personal rendezvous to a new time and place? I found a catholic retreat center, which opened its doors to the likes of me. God met me once again in a quiet place, a place set apart from the distractions and demands of everyday life. Within those quiet hours, the healing began.
Sanctuary. We need a place of peace. A safe place. Do you have one? A car. A bench. A secret hideaway.
My car is Holy Ground. I have benches and places of retreat, but my car is a regular “quiet time” tool in my arsenal. It’s a place I meet with God, sacred and set apart. I approach my “car time” with great intentionality.
- It’s my prayer closet.
- My think tank.
- A sanctuary of quiet . . . when I am alone.
It’s also a cacophony of crazy, too, tooling kids around town, but still, it’s intentional. When filled with people, it’s time to intentionally connect. Instituting a “no tech” policy, for short car rides, can build some needed story-telling routines into the lives we share with those we love.
Stories. Morning prayer. Singing praise songs with the radio. Quiet. Is your car Holy Ground?