Sunday, July 1, 2012

A Time for Silence

All of June, I've felt that nudge from the Lord that something precious and important awaits in my silence.

If you were to meet me in person, you would be laughing right now. You'd be slapping your thigh, nodding in sympathy, and saying sarcastically, "Yeah, right, Heather. You? Silent?" 

Ha ha ha. 

My friends say that I'm a walking exclamation point and "10 women in one body" when it comes to talking. It's been a problem all my life. I just love to talk. One friend says that certain folks have "high disclosure needs," and I smile because I think, "Yes! I just have to speak and tell you everything."

I think the novels I write are simply overflow from all the words I didn't get to say.

I just have so much to talk about.

But not lately. Lately, I'm learning that my input isn't indispensable to every conversation. I'm learning that I'm not the most important contribution to a discussion. I'm learning that God is in control, and I don't need to manage every situation with my words.

I'm also learning that most of my problems (probably all of my problems) stem from my mouth. I think about what I use my words for, and it's normally not good. My encouragement turns quickly to flattery; my discernment turns quickly to criticism; my insight turns quickly to pride; my ideas turn quickly to manipulation to get what I want. All of my great advice becomes about me wanting to be a false savior to feel important.  

What would happen if I stopped talking? Could I do it for an hour or a whole afternoon?

Slow to speak. Quick to listen. God likes this. Something precious and important awaits in this. 

I'm starting to like not talking so much. I'm starting to feel the deep, replenishing, solid joy of silence. 

Do you practice the spiritual discipline of silence? 

1 comment:

Elaine said...

Ahh Heather, yes, so many of my problems are word related, spoken or written. After working to clear my email and reading some of what I have written the last few years,  I am thinking of turning  off the computer  and putting it in a drawer. My world might really appreciate my silence. Thanks for this post.