A few weeks ago, the Pastors and Directors from the church I work for went away on an all day retreat to the Dominican Retreat facility, in McLean, VA. It’s a fabulous place with a beautiful facility, friendly staff and delicious food.
The slogan/motto for the retreat center is: “An oasis of tranquility serving both the spiritual and secular communities.” And the Bible verse they use on their home page is—”In quite and and in trust your strength lies.” Isaiah 30:15
However, the day we showed up just so happened to be the day they were drilling through cement blocks, directly above us, in order to to run some electrical wires and phone lines through the building. The very friendly staff assured us that the drilling was only going to last 10-15 minutes, at the most, and apologized profusely for the inconvenience. To be honest with you about 10 minutes into the drilling I started getting used to it and almost forgot that it was going on.
But, when the drilling finally stopped (as promised) it was like someone had lifted off a fifty pound weight from on top of my head. The whole room let out a collective—and relaxing—sigh—Ahhhhhh! And I remember thinking how I could actually hear myself think again!
I also wondered to myself if the retreat center, who again their goal is to make you appreciate silence, does this “drilling” (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) on purpose? You know—so that you will really appreciate the silence for the rest of the day? It’s actually pretty brilliant!
Have you ever had that experince before? For those of you who have tried to console a crying baby for HOURS (Thanks Annlsey!) you know what I am talking about.
Let me be honest with you—I stink at silence!
Just like the drilling at the retreat center —I have become accustomed to the noise in my life. So accustomed to it, in fact, that when it’s not there —I miss it. I need it. I crave it. The noise, in some respects, brings me comfort. Noise. Busyness. Productivity. All of these things bring a level of comfort because, let’s be honest, silence/stillness for any extended period of time—is hard! It’s awkward. It’s DANGEROUS!
Simply put—when we are silent long enough to listen to what God has for us it is an act of TRUST! (please click to tweet that last sentence) We don’t usually think about silence in these terms, but when we are silent we are in a position of receiving from God, and when we are receiving from God we have to trust that what we are receiving is in our best interest. We have to trust that God will meet us in the silence. That’s why silence is so darn hard and noise is easier! A lot of noise is self made. Noise puts us in charge, and puts our trust into productivity and effort! Being silent and still puts God in charge! Silence is an act of trust! (please click to tweet that last sentence) Do I trust God enough to be silent with Him? Do I trust God enough to share my thoughts and fears with Him?
When was the last time you had some silent/still time with God? Do you find it hard? Why?
Think about the truth that even Jesus needed time in silence to be with the Father.
“However, the report went around concerning Him all the more; and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.” Luke 5:15-16 (NKJV)
“In quite and and in trust your strength lies.” Isaiah 30:15