Be Still and Know that I am God. Ps 46:10
During my morning walk, I spent some time thinking about being still. Stillness and silence seem to go together. Being silent, I am able to hear; the winter birds, the wind moving through the bare trees, the water flowing under the ice, and the gentle whisper of God. This simple silence brings me immeasurable joy.
My heart is ready, O God, my heart is ready. Ps. 57:7
My heart may be ready, what about the distractions in my brain?
So many questions fill my head when I think about being silent.
Will I ever be silent enough to hear God’s voice? Do distractions steal my thoughts? My brain jumps from one thing to another, am I ever quiet enough to hear God’s voice? Am I comfortable with silence? What makes me uncomfortable? Thinking about these questions and what it means to be simply silent, I discovered this hymn:
Lines from John Greenleaf Whittier’s hymn, “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind”:
Drop thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the stain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of thy peace.
The above hymn reads like a prayer. How do I practice simple silence?
I work through mindfulness exercises while walking. What do I see, hear, smell and feel? I often have to work through these senses several times before I am simply silent. It is an on-going practice.
Another method for reaching simple silence is planned quiet time each morning, before the “house” is awake. This is again a practice, my mind wanders, and the distractions often join me. I refocus by turning to devotion and prayer. Some days simple silence is achieved easily, other days not so easy. This too is an on-going practice. As noted by my few examples above, so much is gained by being simply silent. I’d love to hear your tips for being simply silent.
May we cherish the silence and not be afraid.
May we know it not empty but full of Presence.
May the Love at its heart calm our fears.
May we know the gentle touch of a trusting hand.
(One Day for God by Anthea Dove, pg. 29)
Submitted by Lori Russell