I stepped outside the front door. It was time to bring in more wood. Yet soon, my attention was diverted - by nothing. Nothing? Yes, actually I stood outside in the cold, and listened to the deep, pervasive silence. I could almost reach out and touch it.
In our fast-paced society, often we forget to take time to be still and quiet. Life is full of things to do. Is there any value in taking time to be silent?
"When every other voice is hushed, and in quietness we wait before Him, the silence of the soul makes more distinct the voice of God. He bids us, 'Be still, and know that I am God.' This is the effectual preparation for all labor for God." (Christian Service p. 249)
Being busy isn't a bad thing necessarily, and certainly our Savior must have been one of the busiest men who ever lived. Yet the secret to His unending strength must have been at least partly related to secret prayer and time alone with His Father. Alone. No cellphone, no Internet, no communication with the outside world. Just Jesus and His Father.
If we were to follow His example, and take more time to be silent, alone with God, don't you think that our lives would be drastically different? Maybe?
It hasn't been easy for me to learn to appreciate silence. I am a person whose mind is always active. I constantly have music playing in my mind. I'm always thinking about some friend, or my recent projects, or the latest piece I'm learning on the guitar. Recently I got an iPod that lets me have access to all my music, emails, Internet (when I'm in range of wifi) and other information - all the time! (In fact, I'm writing this very post on my iPod!) And texting on my cellphone goes on where the iPod leaves off. For me to put that all aside, and be still, has been difficult at times. I used to think that I was being silent if I wasn't listening to any music. But what God has been teaching me recently is that the most powerful kind of silence is the silence of the soul. Silence when my heart is waiting to hear God speak.
Silence has great power. There is no substitute for quiet time with God.
There are some lessons which cannot be learned apart from silence, some things that we cannot hear until we are still. The still, small voice has precious lessons to teach us.
May we ever remember to take time to be silent, alone with God, no matter how busy our lives become.