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Healthy Silence



Spiritual Training Cycle: Foundation (wk. 7/13)

 

In 2014, Kansas City Chiefs fans at Arrowhead stadium set a Guinness World Record for the loudest sports arena in the world at 142.2 decibels. The away team quarterback had to hold his hands over the ear holes of his helmet in an attempt to quiet the noise of the crowd and hear the coach’s play. The quarterback would have benefited from a moment of silence in order to hear the most important voice. The same is true for us in our everyday lives: silence allows us to hear guidance from the most important voice.

 

As the quarterback of our lives, we experience the roaring sounds of our work, city life, sometimes our children (the adorable but noisy blessings that they are), the news, social media, and the clamor of other sounds that pile up around us. When we do manage to find some quiet time, we still feel the buzz of all that sensory input ringing in our ears, giving very little relief. Many of us are still bombarded with our own thoughts and worries about our responsibilities during this quiet time. These ruminating thoughts consist of all the things we think we aren’t doing, things we should be doing, ways we’ve failed in the past, or ways we could fail in the future. This type of “noise” is just as deafening as a crowded Arrowhead Stadium. 

 

That’s why we need some healthy silence. The kind of silence that allows us to focus on God by turning off the world around us. Why is silence so hard for us to sit in?

 

True “silence” is hard to achieve because learning to quiet our own negative inner voice is just as hard as quieting the world around us. The noise of our negative thoughts feels overwhelming and inescapable. But we make progress when we not only seek silence but also seek to hear the types of thoughts that serve us best. We need to hold our hands to our ears and focus on the most important voice, God! He gives us the play calls for our life. God’s voice will stand above the crowd and tell us what we truly need to hear.

 

The “noise” of the world now is no different than it was in the time of the writing of the Psalms. In Psalm 46:6 the choir sings of this noise and of God’s response,

 

“Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; He lifts His voice, the earth melts.”

 

Amidst the uproar of nations, God’s voice melts it all away. God’s voice will be made heard above it all. What God says to melt it all away is what is so powerful. In Psalm 46:10, He says,


"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

 

For me personally, I don’t know if I have enough strength to stand against the noise of the crowd. I don’t know if I have enough power to silence the negativity of the nations. I don’t know how to survive the flood of fear and anxiety the world dumps on me.

 

But what I do know is I can rest assured God will be enough. He will help me to weather these storms and He will be above all - the crowds, the nations, and the earth. Be still, my thoughts. Be still, my worries. Be still, my frustrations. Stillness and silence are our best opportunities to tune out the world’s voice and tune into God’s voice.

 

Be still, and know that He is Lord. Soak in silence and receive His goodness!

 

Questions for Reflection:

What is something that has been keeping you from appreciating silence?

 

What are some things that God has been revealing to you in your times of silence?

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