Silence {When the Soul is in Need of a Good Listen}

A time to tear apart and a time to sew together; A time to be silent and a time to speak. ~Ecclesiastes 3:7

Everybody seems to have plenty to say.  The president is trying to charm a solution to the nation’s budget woes.  A republican candidate is waving her doctor’s note to downplay the severity of her migraine condition.  Rupert Murdoch is digging his credibility out of a very large hole.  Pastor Mark is apologizing, or at least I think that’s what he was trying to say, for an unfortunate Facebook post.   And just about everyone has something to say about these things.

Except for me.

I’m on hiatus from opinions, most notably my own.  No blogging–reading them or writing {except for this one to explain why I’m MIA}.  No Twitter.  No Facebooking.  Instead, I’m cherishing some silence.

On a normal day, I rather enjoy sharing my thoughts here–a rare insight, a question in need of an answer, or even the occasional protest in need of expression.  I like the interactions that result from the posts I leave here.  It’s true that I always feel the most like me when I’ve had an opportunity for my thoughts to wrap themselves around some carefully chosen words.

The danger with a blog is that you can make too much of your own words.  You can think too much about what you’ll write.  You have to guard against feeling like you have to always have something to say.  Yes, I know, everyone says that you have to write consistently to keep the blog-blood pumping–silence is death to your blog.

Maybe so.  But I’d rather have a dead blog than a dead soul.

The soul is just the opposite of a blog.  It needs time.  It needs space.  It breathes most deeply in the silence.

So the lights are dimmed here.  They’ll remain so for a season.  I don’t know how long that season will be.  Long enough for me to hear something other than my own thoughts.

I’m setting down the pen to pick up the text.  I’ve gone back to memorizing passages of Scripture.  For some reason, I hear the Spirit best when I am practicing meditation and memorization of the text.  It’s a practice I think has been lost–maybe in part due to our reliance on the ever-updating newsfeed of the internet’s word of the hour.  (If you haven’t read The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr, you might want to give it a look.)  I need the discipline of memorization.  My soul needs it.

Does yours?  Maybe you’ve found the same challenge of always needing to have something to say or something new to interest you.  If so, I encourage you to join me in setting aside some time to be silent, to listen deeply, and to learn.

In my notebook, I’ve written out Ephesians 1; I Peter 5:6-7; James 1:5-8, 22-25 to memorize.  They are all texts I’ve memorized before, but they’ve been cluttered now with the din of life and the ingratitude of casual familiarity.  It’s only been a week since I’ve been letting them speak to me.  Already I’m learning.  Their words are awakening truths I’ve needed to hear.  The Spirit of the Word is lighting corners that have been strewn with cobwebs and darkness.

What about you? Do you have a need for silence?  Will you join me in going silent so that the Text can speak?  Will you practice the discipline of memorization?  I’d love to hear what text you choose.

Sometimes there isn’t anything to say and that’s okay.  It’s important to know when your soul is in need of a good listen.    Listen well, my friend, and learn.

4 thoughts on “Silence {When the Soul is in Need of a Good Listen}

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