“Better is a handful with quietness, than both the hands full with painful effort, vain striving for the wind and feeding on it" (Ecclesiastes 4:6 Amplified Old Testament).
Dear readers, I realize I am a fanatic about all the cacophony in the world. I have a favorite bookstore I haunt, or used to, until the national chain succumbed to the cry of the masses to numb our minds with pop music, not even classical music which at least soothes the savage beast within us. The first time I heard it I appealed to the powers, but was told that mine was the first complaint. So much for the last place on earth I could enter and feel at peace!
I culled the following gem from a Bible commentary:
I. THE CHARACTERISTICS OF A QUIET SPIRIT.
The habit and disposition of quietness need not be accompanied by torpor. There is, indeed, a quietness of sleep, as there is also a silence of the grave. But in the passage before us the quiet spirit is directly connected with life. The body may be busy while the spirit is quiet; nay, the mind may be nimble and alert, even full of activity, while yet the spirit is at rest. Observe, then, the marks of a quiet spirit.
1. Peace. There is peace within the soul, and therefore quiet. The turbulent spirit is like a mutinous crew that may make tumult on board the ship while the sea is as still as glass, and the peaceful spirit is like a well conducted crew that works in quiet while the sea is torn with tempest.
2. Patience. The quiet spirit does not complain under chastisement, nor does it angrily resent unkindness. The psalmist was “dumb" under calamity. Christ was led as a lamb to the slaughter (Isaiah 53:7).
3. Unostentatiousness. Some give more show than service, and make more noise than profit. Eager to attract attention, they “sound a trumpet before them" (Matthew 6:2). Not so the quiet in spirit, who labor in silence, content to be obscure so long as they know they are not living in vain.
II. THE BLESSEDNESS OF A QUIET SPIRIT.
It is here set forth as a source of life. No doubt fretful restlessness wears out the life of the bad. Placidity makes for health. Moreover, the life that is dissipated in noise produces no good, and therefore does not collect the means of its own support. The quiet in spirit best make a livelihood. Further, certain special advantages of this quietness may be noted.
1. Depth. “Still waters run deep. " We can look far into the quiet lake, while only the surface waves of one that is fretted with cross winds can be seen. The calm, brooding soul knows depths of thought and secret experience that are unfathomable to the foolish, restless, noisy soul.
2. Strength. The silent forest grows strong. The mind is made vigorous by patient endurance. One who is calm is master of the situation, while another who is fretted and flurried feels lost and helpless.
3. Fruitfulness. The calm, strong, silent soul, vigorous and yet unostentatious, ripens best the fruits of experience. Such a one does most real work.
4. Beneficence. Noise vexes the world, and a restless, complaining spirit is a weariness to men. The quiet spirit breathes a perpetual benediction. Its very presence is soothing and healing.
III. THE ATTAINMENT OF A QUIET SPIRIT.
No doubt there are great constitutional differences in this respect, and while some are naturally or by ill health restless, irritable, demonstrative, others are naturally quiet, self-possessed, even reserved. Due allowance must be made for these differences before we attempt to judge our brethren. Still, there is a measure of quietness attainable by the use of the right means, viz. :
1. Self-mastery. When a man has conquered himself, the tumult of civil war in his breast ceases.
2. Faith. To trust God, to know that he is doing all well, to seek and obtain the help of his Holy Spirit, are to find the secret of peace and quietness of soul.
3. Love. Selfishness makes us restless. “A heart at leisure from itself" can learn to be patient and calm.
Prayer: Please, Father, save our sanity (SOS) from all the racket!