November 5, 2021

‘Quiet is the one thing that brings me close to God’

Norbert Schott draws closer to God on an autumn afternoon at his rural Indiana home. (Submitted photo)

Norbert Schott draws closer to God on an autumn afternoon at his rural Indiana home. (Submitted photo)

(Editor’s note: The Criterion invited our readers to share the special moments in their lives—or the one thing—that has brought them closer to God. Here are some of their stories.)
 

By John Shaughnessy

On a beautiful, blue-skied autumn day in Indiana—with a cool, crispness in the air and the leaves beginning to turn red, orange and gold—Norbert Schott especially senses the presence of God.

As Schott sits on a wooden chair on his porch, the member of St. Paul the Apostle Parish in Greencastle hears God saying, “Where are you running to all the time? Look over at the field of harvested beans, quiet and brown. Look at the trees, at the grass all cut and shaven—and quiet. Look at the tortoise-colored kitty sitting at your feet. She is quiet. But you are not! Your brain is on a chase, running to the next item, and it’s not quiet. Sit still awhile.”

In such moments, Schott finds himself moving closer to God.

“I think quiet is the one thing that brings me close to God,” he says.

At the same time, Schott wonders, “Why can I not sit on the old chair more often and be still?”

He acknowledges there are distractions all around him, even in the rural setting where he lives.

“The granary across the street is noisy. Construction crews race back and forth, putting down new hot asphalt on Indiana [Highway] 236 so I can jump in my car and race to town. Gotta go to town—to do stuff, buy stuff, see stuff. Race, race, race.”

Then Schott hears God’s voice again, telling him, “Sit awhile. Feel the quiet.” And Schott listens, telling himself, “You’ve got time to pray, to sit awhile and hear God. He’s always speaking. You’re not listening.

“That’s it. That’s the one thing, the special moment that brings me to God—the quiet.” †


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