"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Silence and Noise

"We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature--trees, flowers, grass--- grow in silence; see the stars, the moon, and the sun, how they move in silence. We need to be silent to be able to touch souls. ~Mother Teresa
Life includes a lot of noise, doesn't it?

Not all the noise is a bad thing, for sure! Some of the noise---maybe even most of the noise---is beautiful and a deep joy!
...My kids play, songs and laughter ...The noise of the piano practice ...phone calls and friendly visits ...rain on the windows ... and the noise of the washing machine. All these are blessings. All gift-noise in my life.

Last night the wind whipped loudly through the street outside my window. It was strong and loud. The wind's activity was loud enough to wake me. It's noise powerful enough to break through the double glazed window in my room. And, it wasn't an unwelcome noise, or a "bad" noise. Not really. When I hear or see the wind here, I am often moved to worship and in awe at our wind-Creating, wind-Controlling Father in Heaven!

But, it did disturb my sleep. Even the wind, not a 'bad' noise, was a disturbance none-the-less.

Silence in my life is necessary. I must sit and be still. If I am to hear the thoughts in my mind, the movements of my spirit or the motives of my heart... I have to listen. We must take time to listen. And, silence takes time... it is more than just one moment.

I must choose it. As much as possible, at times, I must walk away from and put a stop to the noises of life.

But, silence is far beyond simply ridding myself and my surroundings of external noise. I believe it is much more than that. I believe God invites us to something much deeper within. I think He invites His children to a different silence, a Spiritual-soul silence.

As I have shared I suffer with tinnitus... a constant, multi-toned, constant, high-pitched, (did I mention constant) ringing in my ear... So, for all intensive purposes, I can never really rid myself of noise.

Oh! but, I can!? And, that is what He is showing me. Silence is deeper. Deeper within...

Yes, it means I must still choose an actual quiet moment (or moments) in my day. It means taking time to sit, to be still, to think and to ask Father to search... but, it is more than that... it is a soul silence I need to seek, to develop, to ask for within. Within and throughout. A silence that I can walk in all day long.

This is what I am asking for today. I am asking for this life of the Spirit, deep within, that allows for deep, abiding silence while the washing machine is going, the piano practice is in full swing, and while the wind howls outside. This silence is what I need and long for.

For, "where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom" (2 Corinthians 3:17)

And, "the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace." (Romans 8:6)

Freedom. Life. Peace.

What an invitation we have from God, who is Spirit! What a glorious, beautiful invitation!

I will look for You, today, Father... You, God Almighty, friend of silence. You, giver of freedom, life and peace. Today, I will look within for where You dwell in me, for I am Your temple. And, by Your grace, I choose to walk by Your Spirit... to seek You beyond the noises of life and mind. Thank you, Jesus, for opening the way. Thank you, Jesus!
No man can hinder our private addresses to God; every man can build a chapel in his breast, himself the priest, his heart the sacrifice, and the earth he treads on, the altar.  ~Jeremy Taylor (1613)

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