One of the challenges of living in the city is the level of noise that one hears. There is a constant sound of horns honking from cars or motos and near where I live, there is a construction site so there is a daily pounding and drilling sound. There is also the ringing of bells that one may hear on a daily basis coming from the local Wat or pagoda, there could be some chants as well, and then at night there is the sounds of cats and dogs fighting, at least so I thought. In talking with friends it seems we all seem to have dogs and cats that make noises at night. I used to think they were fighting until one dear friend told me that no the cat sounds I hear was not from fighting but was from them mating! The things one learn living in a third world country. Early one morning at around 2am I was awaken to the sound of cats and can I tell you, they were in their element for over an hour. I even prayed that God would subdue His creation but I guess there was nothing demonic in their actions. :-)
Nonetheless, day in and day out, these noises can irritate one's spirit. In North America, our neighborhoods are so quiet you could probably hear a pin drop. But not so in Phnom Penh. So at the beginning of March, I had a skype call with my church family and asked them to pray that I would find a bit more tranquility, silence and peace. As those prayers have gone up to the Throne, indeed the cat and dog activities have subsided immensely. Perhaps mating season has ended or they have gone their separate ways. Even the roosters that used to crow at 4:30am and 5am respectively seem to have suddenly disappeared. Perhaps someone got hungry and ate them! (There isn't much roosters in the city as far as I know only in the rural areas). All in all, I think the Lord has some how closed my ears to those sounds.
Last weekend I went to Kep for a mini break which is on the southern coast of Cambodia. As soon as we stepped out of the car, there was silence. Its funny how we can notice the stark difference between the city life and the more rural quiet places in Cambodia. I was looking forward to having some peace and quiet and then to my disappointment on our first night, we heard all the little creatures outside our hotel room. It sounded like a choir -- one was that of a frog. I didn't even know frogs made sounds but this one was at it for most of the night with his baritone tune combined with the crickets and some other wild creatures. Talk about getting back to nature.
All jokes aside, the noise level here is not pleasant at times. It is hard to find a quiet place and so as you think of all of us who are living on this side of the pond, pray that the Lord would continue to shut the noise around us so that we can truly enter into places of silence and solitude. Perhaps its an age thing as the older I get, the more I crave solitude and silence! I am thankful that I typically sleep deeply but rest is such an important part of caring for our souls and some friends I know have difficult sleeping at night. How much more when you add in all these noises. They are part of the spiritual warfare that we deal with here. All of these things can add to the stress levels and affect our resilience and energy levels. May the Lord Jesus plug our ears and give us peace, silence and rest on all sides!