Can you imagine yourself sitting there too? Surrounded by blue. Gazing out over the still waters. Away from distractions and noise. Alone and quiet.
Silence and solitude is spiritual discipline I long for more of. Over the last week God has shown me plainly how quick I am to fill every void with noise. I am a silence thief - stealing away from every quiet opportunity by filling it with noise. Are you addicted to noise too? "Noise helps us live on the banks of denial. Noise keeps us concentrated on something else - anything else!"*
When you're in your house alone, do you turn on the TV or music to suffocate the silence? Does a perfectly quiet car have a way of torturing you? Is every pause in your day filled by reaching out for your cell phone to check email or Facebook, or is it just me?
God is calling me towards more solitude - "the practice of being absent from other people and other things so that you can be present with God." He's creating opportunities for silence - "the practice of quieting every voice, including your own, so that you can hear the voice of God."
Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10
In Silence and Solitude, we can:
Learn to practice God's presence "Only in silence is heard the beating heart of God" (Father Bernardo Olivera) ... and that's what I'm after. To sit and rest with Him there. To allow every recess of infinite void to be filled with the infinite fullness of God. "When our emptiness has been replaced by the fullness of His presence, we begin to view all other parts of our life in a new way. God removes the "continual lust for more" (Eph. 4:19) that results from a life apart from Him, and replaces it with contentment and ridiculous generosity."
Learn to sit in God's peace The world offers us many things, but peace will never be one of them. Only in God can we find peace - "A peace beyond all understanding" - a peace that "will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 4:7) "Even when we’re in stressful circumstances we can learn to maintain a silent center, a stillness of soul that flows in God’s peace. We come into this peace by training with Jesus in silence and solitude. As we go into the solitary place with the Lord he purges our souls of the distractions, anxieties, and sins that rise to the surface. Then his Holy Spirit like a dove settles on us and leaves us with the gift of peace, a deep and soul-full sense of well-being."
Learn to see and hear The voice of God becomes clear when we learn to embrace silence. "We must develop habits of being unavailable to the voices all around us so that we can learn to hear the Divine Voice." The question is not whether or not God is speaking. The only question is whether or not we can hear Him.
OK. Maybe God gave me something to say after all.
Today's Challenge: Carve out time in your day to focus on the Lord in silence and solitude. Start small and build from there. Are you motivated to know that God is waiting for you there - in that quiet place of silence and solitude?