There's precious little time for stillness when production deadlines are close. A report is due in three hours. An inspection is in progress. If you live in a big city, there are voices and horns. There is constant motion. Shared living space has someone else's music, someone else's TV, and someone else's voice. Where do you find God in all the noise?
Then there is "noise" of a different quality altogether. Pain from illness or injury screams at you. The pressure of finding a new job or putting life together after a death takes away your tranquil sense of God. Sadness, disappointment, and loss crash over you with the roar of an angry sea.
Strange as it may seem to say, the greater need for some of us may be less for stillness than to learn how to hear God's voice smack in the middle of all the noise, chaotic activity, and disorienting trouble.
"They reeled and staggered like drunken men; they were at their wits' end. Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven. Let them give thanks to the Lord ..." (Psalm 107:27-31).
Whoever the subjects of this ancient-but-always-modern thought (Psalm 107), they were reeling and staggering under their load. There was no serene stillness before God for them. To the contrary, they were "at their wits' end." So right in the middle of their frenzy and distress, "they cried out to the Lord in their trouble" — and God heard them.
If your life has more tumult than stillness, more crash than tranquility, God has not abandoned you. He beckons you to cry out to him, and he will show himself to you. Amidst the noise, you will find him with you in the middle of it all.