Silence is golden: Part 1 - Hope 103.2

Silence is golden: Part 1

Morning Devotions is for those curious about the Christian faith and who want to explore Christian issues that relate to their daily life.

By Chris WittsMonday 23 Sep 2013Morning Devotions with Chris WittsLifeReading Time: 0 minutes


If you drive past a monastery,I wonder what comes to your mind .. one word that comes to my mind is – silence. In many of these places,there is a rule of silence that must be obeyed. The vow of silence I think it’s called. It must be very hard to obey this rule – no talking. Why? Because it gives the priests or brothers a chance to speak or commune with God in total silence. They think about peace..solace.. times of meditation and reflection. They  think about serenity. And these are wonderful topics to think over. But I want to talk about the discipline of silence for us,which is very hard. .Silence. We really don’t do very well with this one,do we? We tend to fill every minute of everyday with noise. At home,we always have the stereo on or the TV on or a radio playing. Then you get in your car and what do you do? Well,you turn on the radio. You stick in a tape or a CD or plug in your mp 3 player. You go to the shopping  mall,and there’s music playing over their sound system.  You go for a walk,and you pull out the headphones. You go downtown,and you’re hammered with the sounds of motors revving,horns honking,and tires squealing. Silence.  But why is it so hard for us to practice silence? Why are we afraid of it? Why are we intimidated by it? We don’t like silence. We don’t know what to do with silence. And so we do everything we can possibly do to avoid it at all costs.

But you know the problem is,we’re missing out on a very important and valuable practice. Because silence gives us time to think. To reflect. To evaluate what’s important. To filter what we need to do and what we need to say. To regroup and reenergize. To connect with God and to hear His still small voice. Yes,I know that we can’t eliminate all the noise from our lives. But I do think we can reduce it. And I believe it’s critical for us to carve out a few minutes from our day or a few hours from our week to practice silence as a habit. And no,I’m not asking you to take a vow of silence or anything like that.. I’m just talking about integrating silence as a regular part of your life.

Ecclesiastes 3:1,7 says To everything there is a season,a time for every purpose under heaven. A time to tear,and a time to sew; a time to keep silence,and a time to speak” We have no problem with the times to speak. What we need to do is recognize that there are also times for silence. And we need to work those times into our lives. How successful are you ? If you have read some of the Old Testament,you may know something of the story of Elijah the prophet.  It was essential for him to experience silence so he could hear God. I mean,he had the same problem you and I have. He was a busy man. He had pressures and demands on his time. He was stressed out. And more seriously,he had people trying to kill him. And he had had enough. So he got away. He travelled all the way to Mount Sinai so he could get alone. He experienced an earthquake,wind and fire and was looking for God. But God wasn’t in any of those. It was only after those past,and there was a quiet… there was a stillness… then he heard God. And in that moment of silence before God,he was reenergized,he was encouraged,he was empowered. And because of that time in silence,he was able to get  back and face life head on. It wasn’t going to be easy,but he needed that time in silence before God.   So why is it that we neglect this essential habit of being silent before God? Why isn’t silence a part of our daily lives? Perhaps it is for you … But for many of us… probably the majority of us… we don’t practice silence a whole lot. We don’t even think about it much.

Christian author Laura Harris has written this  ‘Could it be that despite all our technological advances and heightened theological understanding,the one thing we’re in great need of is quiet,still attentiveness to the presence of God?” I believe the answer to that is yes. We are in desperate need of a quiet,still attentiveness to the presence of God. Everything else in our lives works against that. It’s not going to happen by accident. So we need to purposefully carve out times of silence.