Alphabet of Manly Virtues: “Q” is for “Quiet”

2 Jul

(“The Alphabet of Manly Virtues” is a 26 post series examining various character traits of godly men. Check back every Tuesday and Thursday for new posts! To view other entries in the series, click here.)

 
qIf I were a less humble person, I would tell you that I am amazing at being quiet. I tend to tick most of the boxes in the “introvert” category. Put me down in the middle of a crowded room and I will either spend more time playing with any animals that happen to be around or I will discover a corner from which to observe all the other party-goers. I’m not a particularly outspoken or loud person in conversations, and I often find myself sitting back and letting others speak. There are very few times in my life when I am not in the middle of reading a book, and the minute I finish one book/series I pick up another one. These “quiet” habits have always been easy for me. I have this quiet thing down pat!

But honestly, I am horrible at being Quiet. Either I am consumed in the escapism that comes from whatever sci-fi/fantasy novel I am currently devouring, or maybe I am researching the most optimal way to play whatever video game I have found myself sucked into. A new anti-quiet in my life is a squirmy, squeaky little human that my wife grew inside of herself and now suddenly we are responsible for. I spend more time than I ever thought possible “quietly” looking at the kid, but my mind is not at peace. “Is he still breathing? Am I being a dynamic enough father/leader of my family? What happens if my son grows up and rebels and wants to – *shudder* – play sports someday?”

You see, Quiet with a capital Q is not an external soundlessness, or being soft-spoken, or excelling at hide-and-go-seek. Don’t swing that pendulum too far, either, and strive to completely empty your mind or become one with anything. No, the quiet that we should seek, that we should purposefully pursue, involves setting aside of the noise of life. In order for me to throw my full heart into worship on Sunday morning, I have to stop thinking about what I’m going to eat for lunch. For me to spend time in God’s Word in a way that glorifies Him, I have to turn off the voice in my head telling me “OK, just read a few chapters and then you can go back to your book and find out what happens with the dragon and the protagonist” (twist, the dragon IS the protagonist!).

Noise takes many forms. Selfishly, I wish I had magical ear plugs that allow me to be at perfect peace. Don’t worry, I’ll share them with you, too, in this fantasy scenario. No, this Quiet is still something that I strive towards, as we strive towards every good virtue. I may not have a quick fix. I do, however, have Paul’s words to the Philippians:

“The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

What better rest, what better Quiet, than the peace of our God.

-Aaron Pearson

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Aaron Pearson is a radio engineer living in Pequot Lakes, MN. He is a husband and newly-initiated father, which is why he is so excited to be a part of the MTAB community. Aaron is an avid disc-golfer, board-gamer, tinkerer, brown-thumb gardener, literary connoisseur (of the SF/Fantasy persuasion), and facial hair enthusiast.

8 Responses to “Alphabet of Manly Virtues: “Q” is for “Quiet””

  1. tim gallen July 2, 2013 at 11:33 #

    aaron, i’m quiet, too, but not always Quiet. i think you and i would get along just fine — sitting across from each other, each of us reading a book from the wheel of time series. (the dragon is the protagonist. unless i’m missing something, you’ve gotta be talking about WoT there.) be at peace, brother.

    • engineeraaron July 2, 2013 at 11:38 #

      I was actually referring to Jo Walton’s “Tooth and Claw”, which is basically Jane Austen but with dragons, only even better than that sounds. WoT is another good series, I still need to read Sanderson’s conclusion.

      • engineeraaron July 2, 2013 at 11:40 #

        And also, yes, that sounds like a great afternoon.

      • tim gallen July 2, 2013 at 11:41 #

        well there i go thinking i’m all clever. i need to expand my scifi/fantasy repertoire. but a memory of light (WoT’s final book) is awesome!

    • More Than A Beard July 2, 2013 at 13:32 #

      You are always welcome to join our SF/Fantasy book club, Gallen! Pearson and I usually tackle a book a month together 🙂

      • tim gallen July 2, 2013 at 13:41 #

        for serious? i’m in! what do i have to do?

      • More Than A Beard July 2, 2013 at 13:51 #

        I’ll give you a heads up once we’ve settled on a book for July. It’s usually pretty informal. We read through a book and then hold a discussion about it once we wrap it up. So far we have read:

        Six-Gun Tarot – R.A. Belcher
        Wise Man’s Fear – Patrick Rothfuss
        The Rook – Daniel O’Malley
        Wool – Hugh Howey
        Redshirts- John Scalzi
        The Ocean At The End Of The Lane – Neil Gaiman

  2. For the Love of God July 2, 2013 at 14:39 #

    I am a total introvert, especially depending on the venue. I worry about the same things when my kids were babies, now I can seem to find the quiet at home, lol. Theres definetley noise all around.

    Today as I have recently relocated to Northern Virginia I found myself (purposefully mind you) in the woods alone with God and His creation. It was good to be quiet today.

    The storm of noise will come, but quiet truly must be intentional.

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