The book of Mark records the following verse: Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’

Have you ever noticed that virtually all aspects of American life conspire to keep us away from being alone with Jesus? We’re bombarded with distractions. It can become impossible to hear his voice if we don’t intentionally take time to be away with him. When the disciples were so busy “coming and going that they didn’t even have time to eat”, Jesus said this to them: Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest. Do you have a quiet time, a place to be alone with him? A time apart from the busyness of life where he can speak, and you can hear?

I’m married to a teacher and father of a principal. I’ve overheard them talk about classroom management and lowering the volume. When the noise increases, they don’t always raise their voices, sometimes they soften them to barely more than a whisper. They don’t try to shout over the storm, they wait for quiet so they can be heard. Maybe we need to do this with God. Maybe it just seems as if he’s not speaking, when in reality we just can’t hear him over the noise of life.

Did Elijah find God’s counsel in the wind, the earthquake, or the fire? Or was it in the gentle whisper after the calamities had subsided?

How will we hear the heart of God when we constantly live among texts, calls, or emails? When our questions are sent not to God but to Alexa, Siri or Google? Try this: choose a time, then get away. No mobile device, no distractions. Nothing. Get alone. Then, like Samuel, wait before the Lord with this petition in your heart: Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.