“I’ve begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own.” ~
I have made a silent retreat before. I know that many of you who know me well will laugh and shake your head and say, “No way.” Yeah, way. I did make a silent retreat before. I didn’t say that I liked it a whole lot; but, I made one. It was really tough on me because, as you can imagine, I didn’t do silence very well, especially not in my earlier life.
Being an extroverted person, I like to talk. I like to engage with others. I don’t tend, first, toward silence. However, I have come to learn over the years that it is only in silence that I can give God the opportunity to say what He wants to say to me. When I am busy and talking, I can distract myself from God’s presence and God’s voice.
Silence truly is golden. It is the way in which God can speak to us. It really works. When we quiet ourselves, we become aware of an entire universe around us that we often ignore. As a matter of fact, that universe needs to be quieted and/or ignored in order for us to listen for God.
The first time someone attempts to sit in silence, there are some things that immediately become noticed: our heartbeat, our breathing, the ticking of a clock, the buzz of insects, and the leaves rippling in the breeze. These, and a myriad other sounds, are there to distract us once we decide to sit in silence. As we learn to tune each of those distractions out, we can listen to the other-worldly, to the voice of God.
God does speak to His people. He speaks through others and He also speaks directly to us in the silence of our hearts. I think one of the things that this present pandemic might bring to us as a benefit is teaching us how to deal with silence and how to listen better for God’s voice.
FAITH ACTION: Spend time in silence today and allow God to speak to your heart without distraction.