Stopping the Chatter
What deadens us most to God’s presence within us, I think, is the inner dialogue that we are continuously engaged in with ourselves, the endless chatter of human thought. I suspect that there is nothing more crucial to true spiritual comfort . . . than being able from time to time to stop that chatter. ~Frederick Buechner
My sister is 11 years older than I and there weren’t any kids my age our neighborhood. That didn’t stop me from having an active social life. When I was young enough I still needed training wheels, I would cheerfully announce I was off ‘make my rounds’ on my little red bike. I had 6 stops I made several times a week to visit my elderly friends (ages 70-91).
I ate pink candy and drank tea with Orpha, played Kings-in-the-Corner with Sue, petted cats with Wilma, sang old songs with Mae, walked through the cemetery with Hattie and watched As The World Turns with Frank and Dorothy. I loved them all. They always seemed glad to see me. In retrospect, I think it’s likely they were often just being polite. I was never quiet. That must have been exhausting.
I loved to talk. I think that’s why I was never very interested in dolls. They were so quiet. Except Chatty Cathy. I pulled her string and she would talk to me and I would talk right back. I played with her until her string hung limp and her battery operated voice was exhausted.
I took me another 4 decades to run down. I couldn’t sit still, or be still long enough to listen for God’s voice. In my search for more, I had to learn from time to time, to stop the chatter and simply be still.