Wednesday, January 25, 2012
Do you have silence in your life?
Throughout my adult life, I have asked myself this question on numerous occasions, do I have enough silence throughout my daily life? Far too often, my first instinct in the morning is to retrieve my coffee, sit-down with my iPad to read my e-mail, read the paper, and check Facebook. I find that my natural response to times of silence is to fill it with noise, for example turning on Pandora while I am home studying. When I am not at home, I am usually either interacting with people or listening to the radio in the car. Case in point, while I type this I currently am listening to the Mumford & Sons radio on Pandora. The question of if I have enough silence in my life is an important question, one that is worth taking the time to ponder.
In his book, Celebration of Discipline, Richard Foster states, "If we hope to move beyond the superficialities of our culture, including our religious culture, we must be willing to go down into the recreating silences, into the inner world of contemplation." As I read Foster's classic work I am left wrestling with the lack of silence in my own life, and asking how I can "move beyond the superficialities of our culture" and mold my life to reflect Christ. I believe that we all need to consciously create spaces of silence within our daily lives, in order to allow ourselves the opportunity to hear the voice of the Lord. Many have questioned whether or not God still speaks in the twenty-first century, but I want to challenge this idea with the notion that we are asking the wrong question. The question is not if God still speaks, but do we as Christians still listen? I for one know that I am guilty of not listening and then becoming frustrated that I do not hear the voice of God in my life clearly. If we began creating spaces of silence I believe that we will find God speaking just as clearly as he always has.
I want to encourage you to join me in creating more silence in your life throughout the next week. Make the effort to turn off your music, shut down your computer, and embrace the silence. I guarantee that it will be awkward at first and you will feel pressure to return to the noise, but I urge you to recognize the awkwardness as a sign of your need for silence in your life. As Christians, it is important that we work at deepening our faith and fight the societal pressures to fill our lives with noise. We must seek whole heartedly after Christ, but in order to do this it is imperative that we stop what we are doing and listen, perhaps then you may hear the soft voice of God speaking in your own life.