“We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence … we need silence to be able to touch souls.” – Mother Teresa
In my last post I asked you what your favorite sound was and I talked about the significant value that can come from replacing some of the noise in our lives with silence. This must have hit a nerve because I received more comments on that subject than any other to date.
One person mentioned that having some peace and quiet once in a while sounded wonderful but asked: How? When? Where? It may seem like finding a little time to think, pray, listen, and ponder life are beyond the realities of our world, a world in which we have to squeeze every minute out of every day. We can’t even wait a couple minutes for our latte to be made anymore. Now we order from an app and expect our beverage of choice to be waiting for us when walk into any Starbucks.
It may seem impossible to find time for silence … but it really isn’t. I live in the Los Angeles area where commuting to and from work in a throng of cars is the daily reality for over five million workers. Cheryl is a friend and is one of those millions, commuting each day to her job at an amazing ministry called Teen Challenge. She shared with me how she uses her commute time to double as solitude time:
“I oftentimes find myself driving with my phone on vibrate and the radio turned off. I find the quiet time in the car helps me be more alert as I drive as well as quiets my soul so I’m more aware of God’s presence in leading my day. Silence is definitely a gift from God to hear him much more clearly.”
Paul, a colleague at Halftime Institute calls Cheryl’s idea a “media fast”. There was a time in Paul’s life that he really needed to hear from God but he was having trouble doing so. He knew he had to do something so he implemented a media fast during his commute. He states that “before I knew it, I craved this time with God … I began seeing the fruit of my time with him – more patience, increased self-control, less pride, and greater joy.”
All of this from simply turning off the noise coming from the screens and radios during the daily commute. Can you imagine what could happen if you implemented a 30-day media fast at home and in the car?
If you need a super-focused time with God, we regularly recommend to Halftime Institute Fellows what we call a “solo-silent retreat”. In a nutshell, it’s getting alone somewhere for a day or two with only yourself, God, a Bible, and something to write with. If this sounds a little over the top to you, I can guess that after your first solo-silent retreat, you’ll be back for more. They are that powerful!
Perhaps one of these strategies, or a variation of one, will work for you. I could go on and list at least a dozen additional strategies that I have seen work successfully to help silence the noise in other’s lives but that would make this post much, much longer. Instead, why not reply to this note and let me know you want to chat? I am sure we can discover some strategies that would best fit your life. The alternative (not hearing God’s still small voice speaking to you) doesn’t seem too appealing.
Please feel free to reply to this e-mail if you want to explore this further. I’d love to hear from you.
Blessings on your continuing journey,