Silence is hard to come by during this stage of my life. I dare say it never happens unless I awake in the middle of the night. There is always some sounds present. My children, my husband, the tv, music, the dishwasher running or the buzzing of the laundry machine to name a very few. And most of the time these sounds all happen at once, which creates a thunderous everyday experience.
I don’t even notice it anymore. It is just a loud normal. I am used to the fact that quiet is a thing of the past. I’m surprised by silence the times they happen. And I hate to say it, but I tend not to know what to do with it. “Now what?” I start to wonder.
How many of us fear the quiet? Or even being alone?
With a culture of living so convoluted with noise, interruption and busyness…what do we do about solitude? How do we effectively meditate?
I find myself battling this, not just because my entire life is made up of a series of distractions, but because I am not disciplined enough to use my time wisely. When a moment of stillness makes itself present I ought to grab the opportunity for the purpose of solitude with the Lord. Instead I often busy myself with racket in order to avert the reflection I fear will convict me.
So why do I deeply long for something I avoid? It is the ongoing depravity of my soul that I fight within myself on a regular basis.
And although it is a fight, I know the battle is won in the grace I also receive from Christ every single day.
I know His mercies are new every morning and I hope to meditate on these truths during more disciplined times of solitude. When I am able to actually hear my thoughts, sense the Spirit and respond in prayer. Silence is a gift God ordained for our good. John Piper recently posted this great quote from Charles Spurgeon on his website. Enjoy it, as it pertains so closely to what I am trying to say.
“Priceless as the gift of utterance may be, the practice of silence in some aspects far excels it… Quiet contemplation, still worship, unuttered rapture, these are mine when my best jewels are before me. Brethren, rob not your heart of the deep sea joys; miss not the far-down life, by for ever babbling among the broken shells and foaming surges of the shore.” (Lectures to My Students, 51).
Silence is a discipline we ought not to ignore. We rob ourselves of joy when we reject so great a gift.
Picture Credit: Picture taken from nationalgeographic.com.