Have you ever been in a situation where all you could do what sit and think? There was nothing to do but delve into your own thoughts and prayers. To some, that would be an amazing thing to experience, others, their worst nightmare. At the Orfield Labs in South Minneapolis there is a room that is %99.99 sound absorbent. That means it is so quiet you can here your own blood pulsing through your ears. The longest anyone has lasted in that room is 45 min. I thought that seemed silly, and I could totally beat that record. Well a recent experience has made me think otherwise.
A while back I was at a courtroom to support someone. I was not allowed to bring any electronic devices in, a little frustrating, but not a huge deal. I was there right when the building opened and when I got into the actual room to sit down, I happened to be the first in. Doesn’t seem like a huge deal, yet it became very painful to me, in almost an embarrassing way. I had nothing to do. I didn’t bring a book or a newspaper, and since I had no phone I couldn’t really do much. So I just sat, in silence, in very loud silence.
I tried to hum to myself but that seemed obnoxiously loud, I tried to make a list of things to do and eventually I ran out. I tried just to think about life and the universe but that go overwhelming. Then I looked at the clock and it had only been 10 minutes. Eventually I rushed into the lobby just to hear noise, to people watch, and to really not think. Why have we become a people who can’t stand silence?
We are bombarded every second by something; even now, while I am typing I can hear my fingers strike the keys, and the clock on the wall tick by. TV, billboards, radio, Facebook, YouTube, whatever it may be, we are constantly attacked, and even attached to noise. Sometimes we can’t even go to sleep without “white noise”. So my question is, “How can we get to a point where we see silence as a benefit and not a fear?” Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know that I am God.” I believe through our connection with Christ we can find true relationship with Him in the silence.
A couple years ago I tried to do just that. I drove to a park, turned off my phone and just sat. I wanted a place to meditate, read, and pray. Personally I thought I was doing well, in reality, I was so distracted. My meditation turned into watching other people at the park, driving around the park, walking on a trail, and watching wildlife. My reading consisted of reading some of the Bible, glancing at some other books I had brought, and eventually turning on the radio. Now, I am not saying that was a bad thing, but it was not what I was intending. I knew people could do it, but I was just having difficulty with it.
I was not letting God come through the silence; I was complicating a simple conversation.
Eventually I went back into the silent courtroom and sat down again. I began to talk to God about everything, and soon I ran out of things to say. So I sat, in silence, but I was not alone, I sat with Jesus as old friends would do, quietly enjoying each other’s company. It was great! Until other people started coming in and ruined it.
Silence can seem daunting, overwhelming, and even exposing. We can feel so vulnerable because we begin to delve into our own thoughts, and start to realize truths about ourselves, and see whom we really are. Yet, through Christ we are made perfect, and with that comes a relationship, that when the silence is overwhelming all we need to do is look beside us and see Jesus smiling back. So, I am pretty sure I could beat that 45 min record, I think, maybe...