Several years back, I stumbled upon a path of contemplative spirituality, and I will never be the same. I have heard of more and more people being compelled to the conversation and intrigued with altering their lifestyle out of necessity for a sustainable pace. I simply wanted to revisit some thoughts that I call, "Deafening Silence".
If we step back from this busy life for a moment of reflection, we will start to hear a deafening silence. The ironic thing will be that it is truly the stillness that is so deafening. The majority of people in my circle struggles with noisy, crazy, hectic schedules, running from meeting to meeting, coffee to coffee, and activity to activity. Being present and available to God through pursuing space, focus, and contemplation is something that we make hard for ourselves.
After you read this JUST TRY to take 5 minutes and sit in silent solitude. It will be difficult. NO texting, NO computer (Messaging, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), NO music, NO iPhone, NO gaming, NO calls, NO talking. Nothing, but silence. If you haven’t experienced this in awhile, the sound will be loud. You’ll see what I’m attempting to explain. When we arrive at a place on our journey where we have run out of words to pray, we will find a brilliant presence of God in the stillness, without words.
“We are not at peace with others because we are not at peace with ourselves, and we are not at peace with ourselves because we are not at peace with God.” — Thomas Merton
In a society that breeds narcissism and instant everything, a true and even disciplined pursuer of the Holy, might feel strange and even awkward about sitting, kneeling, or laying down. Thoughts of all that we could be doing will attempt to drown out the entire purpose on getting alone to be still, silent, and contemplative. Don’t be surprised if your vices, struggles, or addictions show themselves. That will be the crossroad choice of what we do with that time. Seek peace or give in to the self- centered nature that we constantly combat. If you have not seen the Nooma video “Noise”, go check it out. Bill Hybels has been quoted, “Is the ambient noise level of my life low enough for me to hear the whispers of the Lord?” A. W. Tozer has said “in some instances, absolute silence might well become our greatest act of worship”. The silence Tozer is talking about doesn’t happen in our worship gatherings. Everything in our culture is screaming at a db level that is dulling our hearing the Creator’s voice, and sometimes His will. I myself continue to struggle with this.
My friend, Ian Morgan Cron, says that the “future of the Church is silence”, as we become so hungry for silence in community. To be with one another without having to frantically convince one another of how important we all are may be a form of remedy to what is ailing us.
“God’s first language is silence, and everything else is a bad translation” -Mother Teresa.