I have fallen in love with an app on my phone. For those of you who enjoy NPR and talking about faith, you would love Krista Tippet’s show called “On Being”. I recently listened to the interview Krista did with Gordon Hempton, an Acoustic Ecologist. In response to Krista’s question about how many truly quiet places there are in our world, Hempton said “Silence is so ‘endangered’ in our world that we almost need another name for it.”
I am sometimes struck by how often Jesus tries to avoid people. There is a pretty evident pattern to Jesus’ life. That pattern is to engage, then retreat. Of course those retreats are often thwarted by people all too hungry for the kind of love and life He was offering. It seems that there is something significant about shedding the noise. It seems that the imagery we find in Scripture might actually be pointing to something important. Think about Jesus’ retreats, God’s voice being called still and small, etc. It seems that there is something to be discovered in quiet moments, in still moments, that will be left undiscovered if we don’t make room for silence.
I recently pulled one of our kids away from the group during Kids Club. I sensed that she was carrying something heavy, but I knew that it would never come out with the rest of the kids there to offer their ‘2 cents’. So I pulled her aside and just asked her some general questions about life. I noticed 2 things almost instantly. She put her phone away, and then she made eye contact with me—2 things that are so rare that I immediately noticed. She was offered a quiet space to listen to her own heart, and she poured it out to me.
I was floored at how much rich conversation came out of 5 minutes of retreating from the noise. It makes me wonder how much I allow myself to actually sit in a quiet space. Honestly, it’s not much. That’s the crazy thing about God, our soul, and the heartbeat of life—those things don’t force their way into your consciousness. It takes intentionality to really connect with the deepest and richest parts of our being—even if only for 5 minutes.
The need for this kind of space is incredibly evident everywhere I look. It is my hope that I will be able to make the creation of that space a firm practice within my own life as well as within the Joshua Station youth community. Together we can begin to live out the words of the stillness prayer we often end our time together with…
Be Still & Know That I Am God.
Be Still & Know That I Am.
Be Still & Know.
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