How much are you aware of noise in your life?
I believe some of my most reflective moments have been when I was able to be in solitude and silence. And I like to think I am a reflective person, but on the off chance when I actually do begin to get still and think over my life I realize instantly that what I really want to do is listen to that Band of Horses album again or watch more Portlandia on Hulu. If for some reason those things aren’t readily available I will begin to make the weirdest noises with my own mouth. If I am driving (recently I have tried not listening to music or talk radio while doing so), instead of simply being quiet I will start to talk like Gollum or make drum beats. Silence is just incredibly difficult. And it really is a discipline.
But really silence is simply just terrifying to me. I am fearful of what will be said in the silence, either my darkest thoughts or my own desires will come to surface that I don’t want to admit are there. Or perhaps other truths will be revealed by God in the process that will confront my comfort level. Maybe he’ll tell me that I do indeed need to meet my friend for coffee and have that difficult conversation. But I am also afraid that when I get silent that God in fact won’t be there, either because he will be indifferent or because he is not there at all. If I allow the noise to take over then I don’t have to hear him or not hear him. But noise doesn’t transform us, it simply makes things loud and chaotic.
Lately I have noticed more moments in which I think God is creating silence for me. He is forcing me to deal with it, and I am growing more aware that it is a choice to either sit in the silence or try desperately to find more noise. Whether it is a phone glitch, a malfunctioning television or an empty house, I feel God is confronting me that I do need more silence. I need the open space to hear him more clearly, and by his grace he is offering the quiet. And there is still a discipline to take hold of, to turn off the phone or to let the television stay black. I do hope I find God in the silence, because it sure seems like that is where he is trying to find me.