When is the last time you had complete and utter silence? When is the last time you completely cut the world off? Turned off your cellphone. Closed your laptop. Turned off the TV, the radio, your music? When was the last time?
When was the last time you stopped talking? Stopped listening to others?
What happens when you embrace true silence? Have you ever experienced complete silence? You know, “piercing silence?”
I gave it a shot earlier today and this is what happened…
I turned all electronics off and just laid in my bed.
At first I thought it was kind of peaceful.
But then I started to think.
It seemed like I started to think about everything at once.
I wonder what so and so is doing right now…when will I eat next…I am really tired…I don’t want to go to work later…I wonder if anyone has texted me…I wonder what is going on in the lands of Facebook and Instagram…What am I going to do after graduation…What if I were to move to the west coast…would I find new friends…would I be lonely…I wonder if anyone is thinking about me right now…if I disappeared would anyone notice…does anyone truly care about me…why am I only thinking about what ifs and negativity….why am I thinking so loudly? Why do I feel so uncomfortable?
Thinking is not true silence. I was still “listening” to my internal dialogue. When I realized this I tried to stop thinking. Have you ever stopped thinking about things? Can you stop your mind from thinking? Why was I so worried about everything that “could” be going on around me? Why could I not just embrace silence?
Why is it that we feel so uncomfortable in silence?
Why did I feel so alone?
Then I looked over and saw my Bible sitting on my night stand and I remembered that I was not alone. I remembered that God was right there with me so I began praying. I let Him know exactly how I was feeling and I asked Him why I was feeling that way. I asked Him why I have so much trouble silencing my thoughts? I asked Him to help me clear my mind so that I could experience true silence…so that I could be in His presence.
What happened next?
God himself came through the ceiling, sat on the edge of my bed and spoke to me.
But something important did happen. I realized I needed to devote more time in the practice of silence. I decided that I would make it a goal to find a little bit of time at some point in the day to find silence and work on quieting my mind.
If I am silent I can be in the presence of God and hear Him if He needs to speak to me. Often times God speaks in a quiet whisper
The Lord said, “Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave. – I Kings 19:11-13
If I can hear God’s voice I will be able to distinguish His voice from other voices.
This will definitely take time and practice, but hopefully I will be able to experience true silence so that go deeper with The Lord.