WE NEED TO FIND times and places of silence because every day our ears are bombarded with noise; it’s everywhere! From the moment we awaken in the morning until our head hits the pillow at night, we are assulted by noise — traffic, leaf blowers, Muzak. Restaurants too can be filled with the buzz of waiters dropping glasses, children crying, and people who speak exceptionally loudly. These references to external noise do not touch the noise within, which may be louder than the noise on the street. Those around us cannot hear our inner voices, but we hear them, and they take their toll on our creativity, productivity, and peace.
In this cacophony of noise, there is one sound that we rarely hear: the sound of silence. A world without things going on would be awful, and when things go on noise is inevitable; as a consequence, we must search for pockets of silence to find respite. Daily those of us who treasure silence engage in a war on noise and, unfortunately, we lose many battles. Why is that? Are we bored with life? Bored with ourselves? Must we be distracted every minute of the day?
In this turbulence we need to find a place of silence where we can receive new strength and discover the Reality that waits for us beyond the noise and distractions of life. What a difference it would make if we could for once stop to explore the depth of silence within us.
– Ben C. Johnson and Paul H. Lang
From pages 81-82 of Time Away: A Guide for Personal Retreat by Ben Campbell Johnson and Paul H. Lang. Copyright © 2010 by Ben C. Johnson and Paul H. Lang. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.
Is intentional silence a part of your day? What is the benefit? Share your thoughts.
Listen, my beloved brothers and sisters. Has not God chosen the poor in the world to be rich in faith and to be heirs of the kingdom that he has promised to those who love him?
James 2:5, NRSV
This Week: pray for the leaders of nations. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.
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This week we remember: Mother Teresa of Calcutta (September 5).
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
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