Thursday, November 12, 2009

Silence Has A Voice

Someone said “Silence is deafening.” Quite true. I'd also say, “Silence has a voice.”

One night, I stayed up late reading a book while everyone was asleep. Taking advantage of the peace, I decided to test out the phrase saying "silence is deafening". (I know, I’m strange.) So for 30 seconds, I stayed totally still and quiet. I stopped reading and shut the voice that read the sentences in my mind. Silence reigned… Was it deafening?

To my surprise, it was! Although I was in complete silence, my ears were still ‘hearing’. There was an unexplainable, almost – if I may say – deafening buzzing in my ears. It felt as if I was hearing crickets chirping in the forest at night. The silence was subtle, yet somewhat intrusive and disturbing. It was empty, yet full of life. Maybe it depends on how I see it – or hear it. I only continued for about 1 minute. Then it became unbearable. I broke out of it and my mind started talking again. It was an interesting discovery. Amazing how sometimes life blesses me with these almost glorious personal discoveries that open my eyes and ears to something beyond what “normal everyday life” is.

Silence can sometimes be a good thing. Everyday we are surrounded by noise. We ourselves are noisy beings. Our minds are talking all the time. Why can't we stay quiet for a second? It is truly a difficult thing to do. How can I hear the voice of silence in a noisy, busy place? How can I find peace and calm in a situation of chaos or unrest?

At this point, I am reminded of a Bible story about Jesus and his disciples facing a storm at sea. Jesus and his disciples had gotten aboard a boat. A storm began to rage as Jesus fell fast asleep in the stern. Then the winds blew and the rain poured. The boat rocked and the waves rolled. In the midst of this unexpected turmoil, the disciples were freaking out. They thought they were going to die. Yet Jesus seemed like he couldn’t care less. He was fast asleep, not knowing that the storm outside was going to sink the boat. But finally, in desperation, the disciples decided to call Jesus. Jesus awoke and then calmly commanded the wind and rain to “Be still!” And sure enough, the storm died down and it was completely calm again.

The noise and the storm in our lives threaten to destroy us. Why don’t we just call out to Jesus and find that inner peace and calm in Him? Why don’t we for once, be still for 5 minutes? Sometimes do I really detest silence and stillness that much? I realize that it only when I am quiet, that I discover God in a new way. Then I have God’s peace in my heart and I begin to hear what God has to say.

I recall the last line in a worship song called Still which goes like this:

I will be still and know that You are God.

Perhaps we need to make a point to shut out the “noise” in our lives once each day and be still for a few minutes. We do so many things throughout the day that we never get to quieten down and be at peace. Like I tried on myself, it is so hard to be silent even for 1 minute! If only I learn to be still, then I will know who God is.

I once composed a song with a chorus that goes like this:

I want to hear Your voice

And shut out the noise

Of this world

I guess that sums this up. May God help me to appreciate silence – because silence has a voice. And perhaps God can only reveal Himself to us when we are silent. And ready to listen to Him…

No comments:

The Visitors