Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Without Silence, We Won't Hear

Image result for john piippo silence
Chair, on the river in my backyard

Silence is essential to music. In a musical score, every rest is a soundless moment that gives shape to, and makes sense of, the notes. Without musical stops and pauses and rests, music would be constant noise, without meaning. Constant noise is meaninglessness. Constant noise is sometimes employed to torture prisoners.

When he opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven for about half an hour.
Revelation 8:1

I would like to experience such absolute, pure soundlessness. It is a prophetic indicator. Something, Someone, is coming. This is a silence filled with expectation and trembling. This silence will focus us, and allow us to see. God-filled silence produces clarity.

Extended times of silence allow us to collect the chaos of our thoughts and shape them into a coherent life. Silence takes us away, so that we can return. Silence shuts our ears, so that we might hear. Wisdom is impossible without silence.

If you do not practice silence as a spiritual discipline you are missing something. Without silence, you won't understand the music. Silence is the music. Without silence, we won't hear.

Paul Tournier wrote:

"Modern people lack silence. They no longer lead their own lives; they are dragged along by events. It is a race against the clock. I think that what so many people come to see me for is to find a quiet, peaceful person who knows how to listen and who isn't thinking all the time about what he has to do next. If your life is chock-full already, there won't be any room for anything else. Even God can't get anything else in. So it becomes essential to cut something out." (In Spiritual Classics, Richard Foster and Emilie Griffin, eds., pp. 160-161)

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I'll work today on my book Leading the Presence-Driven Church, to be published hopefully before the Lord returns.

My first book is Praying: Reflections on 40 Years of Solitary Conversations with God.