Blessed Quietness

Posted: September 17, 2012 in Growth, Rest, Silence, Thoughts
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Today’s prompt from The Daily Writer by Fred White is to expound upon the “different kinds or degrees of silence as you have experienced them.”  It also asks that I reflect on how silence is important and where someone could go to find the best kinds of silence.

I find it interesting that this should be today’s prompt.  After all, I have the nickname “Gabby” for a reason – I like to talk.  Ok, ok, I admit it!  I love to talk. I love to hear the sound of my own voice.  It does not matter the subject or to whom I am speaking, I just love to talk.  And on top of all that, I like to sing, too.  So as you can probably guess, my experience when it comes to silence might be a bit lacking.   Yet, my experience is not entirely lacking.

As the prompt would suggest, there are different kinds of silence.  First, there is the “impatient silence.”  This is where I impatiently keep from speaking, just waiting for the person I am having a conversation with to stop talking, so I can say what I want to say.  This is one area that I have worked very hard at improving, so that I don’t alienate those that I converse with.  After all, you can’t have a conversation with just one person.  (Well that’s actually debatable, as many of us do talk to ourselves – and in some cases, I have been known to answer myself, but now I digress.)  Just the word conversation implies that more than one person is speaking.  An impatient silence is not one that I recommend.  If this is something that you have a difficulty with, my (admittedly unsolicited) advice is to practice active listening.  In case you aren’t sure what this is, it’s where you listen to the person speaking, and then restate what the other person said.  I have found that doing this helps me to keep from planning what I’m going to say when the person I am speaking to finishes speaking.

Another type of silence is “angry silence.”  This is where I am so angry, I can’t speak.  This is a silence that is felt in the room.  Others in the room can feel it too, and it may even be written all over my face, as sometimes my emotions do get the better of me.  Again, this is not a silence I recommend.  It makes everyone else in the room uncomfortable, and doesn’t really do much for your image either.

A type of silence I love is an “awed silence.”  This is where I have seen or heard something so amazing that I literally am knocked speechless.  I find this happens when I listen to some stirring music.  In fact, this happened just yesterday at church when our all-church orchestra played some special music.  I could feel the majesty and glory and honor being given to our Lord and Savior.  It was absolutely beautiful, and I even had tears in my eyes when it was finished.  Even now, I can feel that sense of awe and wonder just thinking about it.  If you have never experienced and “awed silence,” I recommend that you seek out something that stirs you so deeply, you can’t help but be silent in order to allow the awesomeness of it to seep into the very depths of your being.

The final type of silence I am going to point out is “peaceful silence.”  This is where I am content and comfortable with where I am at and who I am with.  To me, this is the best type of silence because it is when I feel the safest.  I don’t feel fear or anger or hurt.  There is just peace.  The only times I have ever experienced that type of silence is when it comes to my relationship with God.  Only when I am in His Word and following His ways do I know this kind of silence.  This is the silence of letting God work and giving up my control over things I have no control over anyway.  This is the silence of knowing who I am in the presence of a holy God.  This is true quietness.  This is being still.  This is being safe in the arms of God.

There are probably many other types and degrees of silence that I could write about, but these are the ones that strike me the most.  While there are “silences” I would not recommend (as stated above), I do believe that having silent moments in our lives is important.  If I am never silent, I do not hear what others have to say.  If I am not silent, I do not hear what God has to say.  If I am not silent, I miss out on things that I would otherwise have been able to experience.  Without silence, I would never hear a bird sing or a cricket hum.  I would never hear the water flowing over the rocks.  Without silence, I do not give myself the time to reflect and know who I really am.  Without silence, I hinder my ability to grow and mature.

What about you?  Do you find it difficult to find silence in your own life?  Do you give yourself time to reflect and think and listen to others?  What are your thoughts about silence?

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