The Sound of Silence

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               “The Sound of Silence”      Blog – 6-24-15

So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.    2 Corinthians 4:18

As I sit to write this blog, I find myself in one of my favorite places…Lewis and Clark Lake in Yankton, SD. It’s a picturesque lake with chalkstone cliffs that jut up beautifully against the horizon. I came here many, many times as a young girl with my family, and some of my greatest memories surround this majestically serene spot.

Our voyage here yesterday wasn’t very majestic, however. After frantically getting everything cleaned up, loaded, and ready to go, we finally headed out an hour or two later than we hoped. We didn’t make it very far, however, when we blew a tire on the camper. It took over two hours to get back on the road, but we were finally on our way. After setting up camp, we realized that the blowout had also ruined some very important wiring, which thankfully my incredibly handy husband was able to fix. Finally at 8:00 at night we were sitting in our favorite pizza place enjoying our favorite pizza and our first real meal of the day. Needless to say, I slept really well last night from total exhaustion.

I woke up to rain, and I started thinking that it seemed like everything that could was going to go wrong with this trip. Where was the nice sunny day I was hoping for? After all, we’ve got some relaxing to do! Can’t you just hear the serenity in my words!

As I got my devotional out, I read one of my favorites, “Jesus Calling.” The reading was spot on and exactly what I needed to hear. It said, “You need a buffer zone of silence around you in order to focus on things that are unseen.” Hmmmmm, a buffer zone of silence, pretty much sums up where I’m sitting right now. With the lake in front of me and a grove of trees behind me, the rain actually sounds quite beautiful as I listen to it hit the awning on our camper. Maybe rain isn’t such a bad thing.

Then I pulled out the stack of books that I had brought along to read and realized that I had brought along “Invitation to Solitude and Silence” by Ruth Haley Barton. Do I see a theme here? Obviously, God is trying to get my attention, and “silence” seems to be the key word.

Silence is a hard thing to come by these days. We all lead busy, hectic lives, and our senses are constantly being bombarded. Even when we do find time to sit down, we are busy checking our phones, watching TV, or somehow engaged in the noise of this world. It’s hard to be still and be quiet.

The thing is, God is there in the stillness and the quiet. He is there in the unseen. Those times when I have been still are the times when God has shown me so many wonderful, amazing truths…things that I miss when I’m caught up in the clamoring noise of the world.

I know God is inviting me into a season of silence with him. I have committed to spending 20 to 30 minutes a day in silence with God, as Ruth recommends in her book. Instead of bringing all my prayers and requests to God, I am simply being still and quiet…silent. Henri Nouwen wrote, “Without solitude it is virtually impossible to live a spiritual life…We do not take the spiritual life seriously if we do not set aside some time to be with God and listen to him.”

I am excited to spend time listening to God and hearing what He will reveal in our time together. Most of all, I am looking forward to drawing closer to His presence. I know that time alone with Him will help me “fix my eyes not on what is seen, but what is unseen.” I’m hoping it will help me develop ears that will hear His voice a little better in the midst of my very noisy life.

I invite you to take this journey into silence with me! Please let me know if you feel called to do this and want to take this journey.  I’d love to connect with you on my Facebook page. I have created and event where I will post periodically during this journey. If you’re not on Facebook, by email individually along the way. Ruth’s book has amazing direction on how to enter into this discipline. If you don’t want to read the whole book, I will be posting in the event give you some quick suggestions and highlights from the book.

Together, let’s grow closer to our Heavenly Father in the sound of silence!

~Jill

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