Have you ever run out of words? Like you have given all you have to something or someone – a cause, a person, a gift, and one day you turn up to do it again and it just doesn’t show? Or you get into a situation where no amount of words can convey what you are feeling?
So much of the world is cluttered up with words that we speak – whether it’s physically, in books or in the online space.
There seems to be so much noise. Everywhere.
All the time.
We’ve all become so afraid of the silence that we cannot bear it.
Even when there is no physical noise, we have to have digital noise going on.
When I did my digital sabbath for two days a few months ago, the most significant thing I noticed was how silent my life became. How I didn’t feel any obligation to answer, to respond, to reply, to get back to anyone.
There was though, after a while, no guilt at not responding, or not being involved in all the Twitter discussions I knew would be going on.
I was able to just be.
When was the last time you turned off your phone, your internet connection and your TV and just sat in silence?
Just you and your own thoughts.
It’s scary isn’t it? Even the thought of it can be to some of us.
None of us likes to do it, because we’re scared of what we might find in our own minds.
We may come face to face not just with our dark side, but also with the lightest, greatest side of us. The side with the unexplored and incredible potential. Or the old classic, we might find God calling us to do something we don’t want to do.
I wrote this in silence. I had no internet connection, no TV, music or phone on. Just me and my thoughts.
I sat for nearly 5 mins in silence before this came out.
These words had been inside of me all along – it was the silence that set them free. Silence allows us to go deep into ourselves, indeed, it compels us to.
What we find there can be both terrifying and beautiful beyond words. It’s in the depths of silence that we begin to see ourselves with complete honesty. We see the best we can be, what we might be capable of, what we are really thinking and feeling – and we also see our darkness, our brokenness, our weakness.
The silence is like a mirror.
This silence is an important part of our growth. It’s an important space for us to encounter God and ourselves, and to be discipled, shaped.
As important as the digital and technological realm is already and may yet become, there will always be room for silence. There must be.
If there is no space for silence, no time to disconnect from the world,
then we will forget how to listen. Which would be a disaster.
In the process, we will lose touch with the divine, and even worse,
with our own soul.
Honestly, I struggle to take a regular digital sabbath. It’s an ongoing battle for me to try and ensure I fit one in to every week. To have an extended disconnect, some time away. It should be a priority for us all.
There’s plenty of time to respond to the digital voices demanding our time and energy.
So today, this week, be brave. Try to have a time of
No electronic devices.
No noise whatsoever.
Just you, yourself and the divine.
Does that sound impossible?
(If it does, maybe you need to ask yourself why.)
But all of us need to ask ourselves:
Is there enough silence in my life?
Or any at all?