The Art of Silence

A few years back I heard a pastor talk about the art of silence.  We love surrounding ourselves with sound.  When we’re driving we turn on the radio.  When we’re at home the TV or the radio is on.  When we exercise we love having our iPod rockin’ while we’re mashing the iron.  We have elevator music, music while we’re put on hold on the phone, text alerts, ringtones, car horns, doorbells, all of this noise is in our daily lives.

We love noise, even if it’s just white noise, the wallpaper of our hearing.  But what if we were to take away that noise, peel away the wallpaper.

Silence is awkward.

In silence we can hear our own heartbeat, sometimes so loudly that it can feel deafening in our ears.  In silence we realize what’s been drowning out God’s still, small voice and what we’ve been missing.  Silence keeps noise from glossing over our cares and concerns.  Silence keeps us from submerging our minds in the waves of sound and forces us to think without external stimuli.

Silence is an art.  Like good art it has to be developed and refined.  Some people are natural artists and have a gift for understanding the art in its proper context.  When an artist takes time to perfect their art then there are details and elements that slowly appear.

You turn off the radio.  Unplug the iPod.  Turn off the TV.  Drive in silence.  Take a walk.  And the details and elements begin to appear.

Silence brings out the deepest parts of who I am as I sit there exposed and open without the covering of noise.  Thoughts and struggles that I have ignored or glossed over have nowhere to run but are right there in front of me.

I hear my heartbeat and realize that the life pulsing through my veins is a gift from the God whose voice I sometimes can only hear in silence.

I want to perfect the art of silence.  I want to eliminate the white noise, peel away the wallpaper, and listen for God’s voice to speak.

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