Saturday, June 11, 2011
In the past couple weeks, my wife and I have spontaneously fallen into a routine in which one of us hops up at the break of dawn with our two children (we have early risers) and herds them to the kitchen for breakfast. After closing bedroom and hallway doors, one of us is left alone in the bedroom. While kids eat on the far side of the apartment, and the hour is too early for construction or busy workday traffic, our bedroom is engulfed in silence. These moments are precious. It’s almost magical how 30 minutes can feel like hours, and yet slip away much too quickly.
I don’t remember ever before cherishing silence like I do now. I’m not really the introvert type that needs quiet aloneness to ‘recharge my batteries.’ I’d rather be on the go, moving, living, experiencing... In fact, when I have had times of quiet stillness in life, I’ve normally been quick to eradicate the silence. I’d turn on or play music. I’d desperately seek out a friend. Or I’d pray- a rather wordy, busy, me (&others)-filled prayer.
Now though, something’s changed. Could it be having two kids under the age of three? I love these quiet moments. Instead of chasing away the silence like my son runs off the pigeons in a park, I hoard it. And I listen. Not a word or a thought from me. I simply listen.
I feel that in (almost) 30 years, I’ve gone through the entirety of Elijah’s 3-verse experience in 1 Kings 19:11-13: “A great and strong wind was rending the mountains and breaking in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind. And after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of a gentle blowing. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. And behold, a voice came to him.”
The Bible talks about peace a lot, promises peace. Isaiah 32:17 says, “And the work of righteousness will be peace, and the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever.”
For now, I will embrace silence when I find myself in it. And I will listen.
What about you?
What do you do during quiet moments?
How do you create/find these times of silence in a noisy world?