When is the last time you sat in complete silence?
For me it happened one evening in the middle of last winter. My husband and daughter were out doing their respective things. I was at home by myself, enjoying American Idol, checking e-mails and Facebook, watching my little plastic Christmas tree with the fiber optic lights turn bright shades of green, purple and red. Right at the time Simon Cowell was going to say something nasty, it happened. The power went out. I sat and looked at the dog, wondering what to do. I lit a few candles and waited. Nothing. A small seed of panic began to sprout. I called the electric company and they informed me the power might be out for an hour or two. The sprout of panic grew. I realized I had no idea what to do. I couldn’t watch t.v., listen to music, read a book, or talk to anyone. It was just me and the dog and the dog was intent on sleeping. As minutes passed, I began to calm down and actually became accustomed to the quiet. I was alone with my thoughts for the first time in a long, long time. God had given me a gift. He had given me a true quiet time. I spent the next hour in prayer and thought. I began to feel more peaceful, more refreshed. Eventually, the lights, the t.v., the computer and the tree flashed backed on and quickly re-filled my life with noise–noise that suddenly felt invasive and artifical.
We need our quiet times–times that are unplugged from the technology that tends to clutter our lives. Silence helps us re-engage with our thoughts. It also gives us space to listen for God’s small, still voice to touch our hearts and our minds. These times of complete worship or complete pleading with God remind us how utterly dependent we are on him for every part of our lives–and there is something surprisingly refreshing about that. I challenge you to turn down the noise in your life. Find a space where you are enveloped in silence and don’t be afraid of what you might find. For me, it only took an area-wide power outage to understand how much I needed a little unplugged quiet time in my life.