It’s interesting how different words can mean something to different people. Take the word silence for instance. For some people silence is a comforting feeling. It means an absence of noise, a break from the chaos, a time of inner reflection, a time of peace, or a time of hearing absolutely nothing. Some people look forward to a time of absolute silence. They enjoy meals with little speaking. They don’t feel the need to speak just to be heard, but only when they have things worth saying. They just like to be quiet, to sit in silence, and they are perfectly content with that.
Then of course there are other people (like myself) who panic a little on the inside when they hear silence. In my mind silence doesn’t bring a feeling of comfort; but of fear, despair, pain, and maybe even anger. In a house with 3 girls, a couple of dogs, 2 fairly outspoken parents, and friends there was no time for real silence. In my house growing up silence meant two things…you were doing something you weren’t supposed to be doing and you didn’t want to get caught or someone was upset with you.
I don’t think that either of those views is necessarily wrong. I do think that the way you perceive silence has a lot to do with what you learned, what you observed, how it was defined to you and how it has been portrayed in your life. My husband can sit for hours quiet in his thoughts. Sometimes he likes to have just a little background noise to drown out the world around him so he can focus. I on the other hand cannot sit quiet with my own thoughts. I can’t sit still with my mouth shut for more than a few minutes. I just have to break the silence. I just have to say something, sing something, or make the radio play something.
Sitting there with your own thoughts can be painful. It can be sobering. It can be educational. It can even by hysterical. Imagine just sitting comfortably without speaking or thinking of your own thoughts for just a few minutes. Imagine what you could hear in just those few minutes. Imagine what God could speak to you if you would just give Him the opportunity.
Our culture is based on being so busy, so involved and at times completely over stimulated. Taking a few minutes each day to spend just listening to God, just listening for that still calm voice could be life changing. It could be enough to change situations, to change homes, to change families, to change most anything.
Unfortunately learning to embrace silence isn’t the only thing that would be required for such a task. We’d also have to work on giving up our time too. Most people can’t even “find” the extra time to go to read God’s word, to spend time worshipping him, or even to go to His house. Can God really expect so much from us? He gave His life for me, so I’m sure that anytime that I can give back could never repay that debt. If He asks you to do something He has a reason for that. He has a plan for that.
Maybe He wants you to have a time to be renewed, refreshed, re-filled. Maybe He just wants you to take afew minutes each day out of your busy schedule to remind Him and yourself that you know He is important. Maybe He just needs to tell you something and you can’t hear it through all the noise in your life.
In Luke 10:38-42 Jesus is visiting with Mary and Martha in their home. Martha was so busy preparing things for Jesus that she missed out on an opportunity to fellowship with Jesus. She was so distracted by what she thought she just had to do that she missed the opportunity to talk with Jesus face to face. Her sister Mary, who is often seen as lazy, had it right. Mary stopped everything to be with Jesus. She realized that He was the most important thing and needed to be the priority on her to do list. Don’t be so busy with your life that you can’t see God when He is right in front of your face. Don’t get so busy doing things that you think need to be done that you don’t have time for God. Don’t get distracted by yourself and your personal preferences that you can’t hear from God.
Embrace the silence. Embrace a change of pace. Embrace an ever loving God who wants to have a relationship with you. He doesn’t want a one sided relationship where you do all the talking. He wants to be able to communicate with you. Will you give Him that opportunity? Will you give Him just a little bit of your time? Will you stop getting so distracted that you continue to lose sight of what’s really important? Can you let go of your own thoughts, concerns and feelings so you can spend a little more time with your Heavenly Father? At this point if He yelled at the top of His lungs would you even be able to hear Him? Would you even care that He tried to get your attention?
Focus on God. Focus on His calling for your life. Maybe He wants to speak to you in the silence. Maybe He just wants you to give Him the time of day. Whatever you do, however you do it, just make sure that you do it! Make sure that you make God the center of your life. Make sure that He knows how much you love Him, how thankful you are, and that nothing in this life is worth doing without Him.