By Carol Round, Special to ASSIST News Service.
“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from Him” — Psalm 62:5 (ESV).
For some time now, I’ve been bothered by the increasing level of noise in our world. While I used to turn on the TV just to fill the sounds of silence in my house, I no longer do so.
Preparing to leave in my car meant pumping up the volume of my favorite radio station before I even buckled my seat belt. Lately, in spite of the heat, I’ve enjoyed listening to the wind whistle through my lowered car window, instead of turning on the music. This isn’t like me at all because I love listening to Christian radio.
Have you ever had moments when you longed for silence, wishing that TVs would stop blaring—especially during election years? Or, like me, are you annoyed by the vibrations caused by car stereos threatening to bounce you off the road? Do you find it annoying (and intrusive) when someone is speaking loudly on their cell phones while out in public?
In “Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life,” author Don Whitney writes, “One of the costs of technological advancement is a greater temptation to avoid quietness.
“We need to realize the addiction we have to noise,” he adds.
Is addiction to noise a desire to escape our thoughts? Maybe it’s a way to avoid dealing with our problems or to avoid thinking about the mess our world is in.
Do you need to take a break from the chaos? What might happen to your relationship with the Lord if you did? German Theologian Meister Eckhart put it this way: “Nothing in all creation is so like God as silence.”
Pastor Charles Swindoll says, “We are commanded to stop (literally)…rest, relax, let go and make time for Him. The scene is one of stillness and quietness, listening and waiting before Him. Such foreign experiences in these busy times! Nevertheless, knowing God deeply and intimately requires such discipline. Silence is indispensable if we hope to add depth to our spiritual life.”
Numerous times in scripture we read about Jesus’ need to be alone in solitude with His Heavenly Father. Mark 1:35 says, “The next morning He was up long before daybreak and went out alone into the wilderness to pray.”
In Luke 4:42, we read, “At dawn, Jesus went out to a place where he could be by himself.”
If Jesus needed times of silence, how much more do we need it in today’s noise-saturated world?
Mother Teresa once said, “We need to find God, and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence…We need silence to be able to touch souls.”
For that is why we are here—to touch souls. When we take time to pause and reflect on the power of silence to restore and heal us, we are better able to minister to others.