The constant stream of noise and sound in our day to day lives carries most of us along unbidden and unaware. We’re so unfamiliar with silence we don’t know what to do when we get it. Reflexively, we turn on the radio, the television, our laptops, pick up our cell phones. I love silence, but I am as easily distracted as anyone when I log on to check emails, end up following that link, and “wake up” to find myself many e-miles from where I started. This is mental noise, and the internal noise for me is the worst. What might God wish to say to me that I can only hear in silence?
Waiting in silence before God is hard for most of us. Yet when I make an effort to meditate on his Word, free of my own thoughts about it, I find he has a message through scripture that’s just for me. When I quiet myself, I find I’m more open to his voice and leading. Take a few moments today to unplug and listen to the silence. Psalm 62 invites us to be still: “For God alone my soul waits in silence; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.” Contemplate with the psalmist on your favorite metaphors for God (for instance, my rock, my salvation, my fortress, my shepherd, the vine). After you’ve reflected on that, ask what in that image draws you to God? A need for security, guidance, safety, rest, oneness?
Today’s prayer practice: Silence
Read through the following from Psalm 32 in a listening posture. If you’re not used to silence, it can be helpful to set a timer for 10 or 15 minutes. Quiet yourself in body, mind and spirit by sitting comfortable and taking several slow, deep breaths. Read it through slowly several times and see if any word or phrase stands out to you. Meditate quietly on His Word, resting in his presence. Pay attention to metaphor. Take your time as you invite him to speak.
“The Lord says, I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control. Many sorrows come to the wicked, but unfailing love surrounds those who trust the Lord.” Psalm 32:8-11
What did you hear in these verses as you reflected? Did anything stand out to you? Did you experience the love of God in your reading? Thank Him for His presence with you, now and throughout your day.