There is a time for everything. A time to be silent, and a time to break the silence. —Ecclesiastes 3.1, 7
I suspect we are addicted to filling all the spaces with noise. And when I say “we,” I mean us Charismatic Christians – including Pentecostals (who are the worst about this).
Please don’t think I’m attempting to throw someone else under the bus. If anything, I’m throwing myself under the bus. I am both a Charismatic and a Pentecostal (although I prefer the Charismatic label, and would like to add a couple descriptors like “gangsta” and “who loves Catholics”).
I am constantly working to fill all the spaces with noise – background music, words, videos, more words, and more music.
In a recent conversation about a Sunday service at our church, a friend said:
“This could be taken the wrong way, but my favorite part of the baby dedication was when you guys were all done saying stuff and just stood there for a while holding and looking at her.”
Funny how his favorite part was the one without any noise.
Maybe we need less cacophony and more opportunities to, as Depeche Mode put it, “Enjoy The Silence.”
I do think we need some holy breaks – holy breaks, where we can enjoy the silence. Or listen when nothing is being said. Or actually think for a moment.
I want to work on this in my own life. Hopefully there will be some longer pauses and holy breaks from all the noise.
We usually sing the classic carol “Silent Night” during the candle part of our Christmas Eve services. This song reminds us of the significance of quiet and sleep, peace and rest.
God is present both in the bright light of day and the shadows of night. He is with us when the angels and shepherds throw an impromptu midnight party and he is with us when there are no angels, no shepherds, no songs, and no sounds.
I am convinced that God is in the party, enjoying each moment of celebration – and I believe he is still there when the music stops and everyone else goes home…
And maybe, just maybe, it’s in those moments of quietness that He speaks most clearly to our hearts.
Challenge: Make an effort to not fill all the spaces with noise. Plan for some moments of quiet each day – moments to listen and receive from God.
Prayer: God, thank you for being with me everywhere I go. I know that you are still there even when everyone else has gone. Help me to hear your voice when it’s quiet. Amen.