PEACE AND QUIET
Running errands with my over-active, over-talkative four-year-old son challenged my reservoir of parenting patience. As we drove the fifteen miles into town and then from bank to post office to grocery store, Luke rehearsed of every thought that had crossed his mind since birth.
He regaled me with the plots of DVDs he’d viewed, books read to him, every song he knew, last week’s Sunday school lesson and children’s church story, every cow and chicken and tree viewed from the car window, and every around-the-world journey of his young but fully functioning imagination.
I did my best to feign interest. “Oh, is that right?” “You don’t say.” “I didn’t know that.” “Uh huh.”
I loved hearing his little boy voice get excited about ordinary things. I appreciated his advanced vocabulary. My heart danced a little holy jig when his stories involved his love for the Lord. But the constant, high decibel talking wore my eardrums thin.
Feeding him snacks didn’t stop the flow of words. Attempting to insert my own stories didn’t work, either. Nor did bribery. “If you stay quiet for five whole minutes, we’ll stop at Dairy Queen for a soft serve cone when we’re done with our errands.” No cone. I was disappointed on two levels—serenity and lack of dessert.
A couple of hours and many volumes of adventure later, we headed back home. Fifteen long miles. I hoped that the gentle motion of the car on the smooth highway might lull him to sleep in his car seat, but no. He had more stories to tell. When he took a rare breath, I interjected, “You know what Mommy would really like right now? I’d like some peace and quiet.”
In the rearview mirror, I caught the look on his face. Deep contemplation. I thought my simple request might work. Then he raised his hand like an eager volunteer and said brightly, “I’ll be Peace!” as if choosing sides.
Good choice, I thought. It’s a sure thing you can’t be Quiet.
PRAYER: Lord, how often do I ramble on about earth-nonsense when what You long to hear is the quiet, measured breaths of a contented child at peace?
“Surely I have behaved and quieted myself, as a child that is weaned of his mother; my soul is even as a weaned child,” Psalm 131:2 KJV.
Today’s devotional is by Cynthia Ruchti, writer/producer of THE HEARTBEAT OF THE HOME radio ministry and president of American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Cynthia’s debut novel—They Almost Always Come Home—releases with Abingdon Press May 1, 2010–http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtZb0by984g. Cynthia writes stories of Hope-that-glows-in-the-dark (www.cynthiaruchti.com).