The art of silence

Silence can be soft. Silence can be deafening.. For years, I hadn’t experienced much silence. When you have a 7 and a 4 year-old, you don’t get much silence. The first time in a long time I experienced pure silence was a year ago in the Bad Lands of South Dakota. I arrived to the Bad Lands in the mid afternoon in October of last year. After blasting rock and roll in my car, I parked at the first scenic look out. Stepped out and walked to the edge of the look out boardwalk. And then I just stood there.

I didn’t know what I was experiencing at first. And then the silence became thunderous. That’s all I heard was silence. At first I thought that my ear drums had burst from all the music I was playing. But then I heard the soft chirp of a bird, the wind blowing gently past my ears tousling my hair. And then I began to focus. Silence. It was amazing how much silence I experienced.

I knew I wanted to have the silence again. Of course, as I write this post, I’m listening to some praise and worship music. I write well to music. But I write well to silence as well. All I hear is the clickity clack of the keys on my laptop. All I hear is my own breathing. And I feel the movement of the Spirit. The breathe of God; the ruach elohim.

I’ve learned that I do best in prayer when I’m surrounded by silence. I seek God, seek my savior divine, seek the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit, in prayer. And I’m surrounded by a silence that covers me, surrounds me, stills me. I think of those words from Psalm 46 “Be still and know that I am God.” Be still. And so I stay still. I listen. I remain in silence.

This is one of the reasons why I like going to my prayer bench at the Snake Creek Recreation Area. It’s hidden. You have to search it out. You have to follow the trail to the place where the bench sits, looking over the bluffs of the Missouri River. That’s what silence before God is like. We have to search it out. We have to seek it. It needs to be found. And when we seek him in the silence we find him in the silence.

The funny thing about seeking him in the silence is that after a while, the silence finds you. I’ve been learning that even in the noisiest times, I can sit back and find the silence and seek him. But it takes time to learn this trick.

Take a moment. Wherever you’re at right now reading this (unless you’re driving, which you shouldn’t be reading this and driving at the same time. But why would you be driving and reading a blog….) take a moment. Turn off all distractions. Sit still. Shoulders straight hands in your lap. Now breathe. That’s it. Just breathe. Inhale. Exhale. And breathe. Now seek him. And you will find him. In the noisiest moments you can do this and find the silence to seek him.

By the power of the Holy Spirit, silence can be found. In our day and age, we are bombarded by noise. We are covered with it, colonizing in our ear drums, refusing to leave, revolting against our very being. Through the din, silence can be found.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you.” Jeremiah 29:12-13

Seek him in the silence. Seek him by the power of his Spirit, by the grace found through the Son and you will find him.

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