God does not shout to make himself heard, be still and hear God speak.
Silence can be the loudest experience for some of us when our soul is not rested. We tend to busy ourselves with more chatter, more noise until a breakdown happens rather than a breakthrough.
Taking photos while doing a charity drive with my son in the north of Western Australia, enjoying the silence of the Australian outback.
The secular world has mastered the art of avoiding the voice of God or the silent voice of conscience by bending to the idolatry of busyness. The busier we get, the less we hear our conscience, the part of us that protects us from self destruction.
We often try and justify ourselves by achievements rather than being at peace with our conscience.
I often ask individuals that have that burnt out look on their face or hear it in the tone of their voice, “When’s your next holiday?”. Then watch the excuses pour out why they are too busy to take time out or have a lunch break, or leave early or just switch the phone off for a few hours.
I remember the days I lifted myself on such a high Pedestal, thinking that the world would collapse if I wasn’t always at the helm steering every decision. I patted myself on the back more times than I can remember thinking of how much I achieved only to feel the loneliness set in and the chatter increase in my head.
Fact: I became a brilliant manager worshiping achievement, I also became a terrible leader of self governing devaluing the human experience. I treated myself harshly and I treated those around me with contempt because I was addicted to achievement but I was longing for peace and meaning. The more I achieved the louder the chatter became in my head.
Some years ago I made a radical decision to rid myself of the chatter or at least minimise it in my head. We all know the unnecessary dramas that constantly try to creep into our souls. Chatter that is like unwanted weeds in the most beautiful patch of grass.
How did the world ever survive without phones and in recent years the double edged smart phone? I suspect people have become lazier, less creative and far more dependent on instant answers rather than being patient and planning things through.
My great confession
For over fifteen years as a pastor and a further ten years as a shopping centre manager, my phone was on 24/7. In these twenty five years of answering my phone at all hours, rarely if any of these phone calls needed to be answered with the urgency they were made. Being the people pleaser that I was, I became the fool as the worlds most gullible punching bag for other people’s dramas, inconsistencies and melt downs.
These days I try to be present with those in front of me. I want to give my full attention to the task I’m working on, including my sleep or rest time. The only way to achieve this is by controlling the amount of disruptions that look to infiltrate my life, disruptions that eat away the peace that I value so much.
Our soul can make its greatest choices in the silence, the quieter it is the greater the creative juices flow.
Choose this course rather than be at the beck and call of everyone else’s whim.
Constant chatter grinds at the core of our being.
Constant chatter keeps us unnecessary busy, confused and fearful.
Our choice to be silent helps us from overreacting, allows perspective to take place for clear decision making.
Silence stirs up the possibilities, it guards us against the chattering bandits that seek to steal our centre.