And then all the noise!

(c) 1966 MGM

“And then all the noise. All the noise, noise, noise, NOISE! They’ll bang on tong-tinglers, blow their foo-flounders, they’ll crash on jang-jinglers, and bounce on boing-bounders!” – The Grinch complaining about Whoville on Christmas Day

One unexpected challenge I faced in the Navy was dealing with all of the noise! While on deployment, I expected to have no privacy (I lived in tight quarters with anywhere from 2-5 roommates) but I didn’t expect or prepare for all of the noise. There are whistles and bells and announcements at all hours of the day, and there are flight operations that go throughout the night. My room on the Aircraft Carrier was directly below one of the three catapults which are used to launch aircraft from the flight deck. Every time the catapult reached the end of the track, it created an explosive racket so loud that it shook my whole room and made my teeth chatter while I lay in my bed. I realized that when I am surrounded by noise 24/7, I quickly become crabby like the Grinch…

We read in the Gospels that Jesus often went off to a quiet place to pray. Quiet time with the Lord, spent reading His Word or in prayer, is so important and refreshing for the believer in Christ. So what do you do when your environment is so chaotic and loud all of the time?

  • I think it is important to make your space your own, the best you can. You will probably have very small living quarters, but try to make it cozy and private with curtains and decorations (different Commands have different policies regarding personal decorations in your living quarters so be sure to understand the policy first). Have some sound-counseling headphones or foamy earplugs easily accessible in your space.
  • Find a special spot on the ship where you can be away from your coworkers. Make this “your” spot. Go to this spot at different times a day (if possible) to identify the time when this spot is the most quiet. I loved to go topside (not during loud flight operations, though I did do that too in order to watch) and look out over the water or at the ship’s wake. Incorporate daily trips to this spot into your routine. Go alone or bring one close friend. You can read your Bible here, pray, or just allow yourself a few minutes to not think about anything and be quiet! Be sure to bring a folding chair onboard that you can carry around the ship with you and plop down in your quiet spot.
  • And finally, and most importantly, pray! Be intentional! Pray that God would allow you to focus during your quiet times with the Lord, despite all of the noise and distractions going on around you. Pray that you would be able to discern God’s voice and the moving of the Holy Spirit in your life.

“It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.” Lamentations 3:26 (ESV)

Post by Brynn Gray

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