I have not blogged in far too long. What is crazy is that I love to blog about what I have been learning, and I have been learning and thinking about so much over the last month, but I have not made the time to blog a priority. So I owe whoever reads this, maybe just myself, an apology. It is really neat to write down what you are learning, because you can always go back to this and remember what you have forgotten that you learned. 🙂 Well, here is something that God has been teaching me.
Silence and Solitude
I have been reading a book called: Spiritual Life: The Foundation for Preaching and Teaching for my Spiritual Formation class at Liberty University, and I have already learned so much. In this book, one of the greatest lessons that I learned was about Silence and Solitude. Westerhoff begins this section by asking a profound question: “Why are you not willing to spend one hour each day with the self that you inflict on others the rest of the day?” He asks this in the context of people never taking time to be alone, in quiet solitude, just to listen to their thoughts and communicate with God. Westerhoff explains that all throughout the word of God, we see moments where God speaks to someone in a time of silence. What is so ironic to me, is that WE NEVER EXPERIENCE SILENCE. At least I do not. I get up in the morning, take care of the kids, run around getting ready. Run to work, stay busy all day, and then at the end of the day there is always something busy to fill by time. In further detail, any spare moments of potential silence is taken up with social media like facebook, twitter, and instagram. I am not against these, but they are definitely time space fillers. It seems like my tendency is to check these things as soon as I wake up, all throughout the day, and then just before I go to sleep. When do I experience silence and solitude? If I do not experience this, then how do I expect to hear the still small voice of God in my life. I have been challenged to make time for silence in my day. It will be tough, but I keep going back to my time at the wilds as both a camper and counselor. I remember waking up in silence in my cabin, going down by the creek to do my devotions in silence, talking to God in silence, hearing God in silence. I have not made that kind of intimate time with God a priority in my life, and I know that it is vital to a growing relationship. I want to hear God, and I am willing to silence everything else to do so, if that is what it takes.
The ironic thing is that God decided to teach me this lesson while we have my two nephews staying with us, and the house has been anything but silent. This lesson is one that I am serious about, but it will not be easy this week! 🙂
Some tips for establishing silence in your life:
1. Set Boundaries on time fillers / wasters. (facebook, twitter, instagram, etc.)
2. Schedule a time to be silent.
3. Set a Place where Silence is possible. (not on a city bus, or subway)
4. Turn off any possible distractions. (cell phone, ipod, ipad)
5. Let people around you know so that they can help protect that time for you.