July 8th 2011
I am a loud person, I talk loud, I sing loud, I am loud. If a week of silence taught me anything it taught me how loud my voice is and how different the world is without it. “I must admit” I told our teacher “I was mad as all get out when you told me to try this” “I know” he said “But your answers were much better thought out when you sat back and observed weren’t they?”
At the end of the week I’ve learned a lot, I’ve come to a place where I finally know who, and can be content with who I am. In the words of our Spiritual Formation teacher Millie “You are in a better place” I finally was forced to step back from my list of accomplishments and, like crossing a road, stop, look and listen. Through this week I not only discovered my noise, but how much I relied on that list of achievements as my identity and I learned how to love myself and find worth in myself without that list. Today when I spoke I didn’t hate my voice, I didn’t have that stressed out edginess that often runs people off. Instead it sounded different, softer and I feel healthier than I have in a long time.
I shared with you the story from Monday about walking the Labyrinth, I told you that God was taking me to some dark places and He continued to take me to those places throughout the week. This was the uncomfortable part of the silence, but I think that’s why we have a hard time with this discipline. We don’t want to slow down and go to those places but when we do what we find is closure and healing. God shows us He was there during that bad breakup or the day that you were told you had a terminal disease. He shows us His presence in those situations when we are hurt the most but we have to visit them to allow that healing to take place.
But instead we drown it out with out noise, we’re like the writer of the song Ordinary World “I turned on the lights the TV and the radio” just to drown out what God is saying. We present our walls and seek validation through our accomplishments, seeking compliments for all the things we’ve done, making noise to impress people who are just unimpressed. “We don’t want to know your accomplishments, we really don’t care about those, we want to know you” My roommate said to me over coffee.
If sitting in Silence taught me anything it’s that I am enough, that Jesus just wants me and so do the people I work with and call my friends. They don’t want a front, they don’t want a fake, they want the real thing. So I encourage you to sit in Silence, go out and sit under a tree, let God tell you who you are and tell you that you’re enough for Him. Spend a week talking to no one outside of work, you’ll be mad at me, you’re friends will think you’re crazy but in the end you will be a much healthier individual.
I know I’m going to mess up, I’ll still use my high pitched, edgy-attention-seeker voice again down the road, probably this summer. I know I’ll mess up and use my accomplishments to keep people from getting to my heart, but hopefully when I do someone will tell me to go sit under a tree so that God can tell me that I am his child and that He is always with me!