Do You Have Enough Dead Space? – Silence
by Janis Cox
Last week I wrote the first in a series of Dead Space – Solitude.
I practiced what I wrote last week. I took time away from the computer, from my husband and I spent time with Jesus. Jesus and I together. Heavenly.
This week I want to look at another dead space – silence.
Oh my – my mind is never silent. How about yours? I talk a lot when I have a willing audience. I am impatient to say my thoughts.
I need this discipline of silence – this dead space
where God can draw closer and I can be with Him. (tweet this)
Do we speak when we should? Are we quiet when we need to be?
Here is one example how my words got me into trouble:
I got lost in the Salt Mines in Krakow, Poland. We were on a tour of the Salt Mines with a group. We had taken a break and were told we would be leaving in about 10 minutes. I quickly ate an apple and then told my hubby I had to use the washroom.
When I returned from the washroom – empty – the room was empty of my group. No husband. No tour guide. Frustration. Panic. Anger.
I scurried around to find an English speaking person to find out if they knew where my tour was headed. I was told I could join another group. No – that was not going to happen – the bus might leave without me. So I asked again and was told that they thought the tour went down the stairs.
Breathing heavily (we were down over 300 feet in the mine), I climbed down many stairs, turned a few bends, and then I saw at the end of the tunnel – my husband and the group.
So – what do I do? I let my emotions get the better of me – and fly off with an accusation.
“Why didn’t you wait for me, or tell the tour guide I was missing.”
Of course, my hubby’s reaction was also accusatory.
“You knew we were leaving. You have to watch and keep with the group. No I wasn’t going to watch out for you. You are on your own.”
Me – I was hurt, angry, and my words spewed forth. I wrecked the rest of the tour for myself and maybe my hubby as I clammed up tight and shuffled along.
What happened? Because I spoke out of my emotions now I was more upset. Silence would have been better. I could have prayed for wisdom. I could have breathed a sigh of relief that I found them. I could have asked Jesus for help with my feelings.
“It’s best to speak when tempted for selfish reasons to be silent, and it’s best to be silent when tempted for selfish reasons to speak” (Mark Buchanan, You God is Too Safe, page 182).
There you have it – I spoke for selfish reasons. I was hurt, angry and wanted some attention. I wanted him to say, “sorry, I shouldn’t have been so unthoughtful”. But he was doing his own thing – exactly how he always would. I know my husband – for 42 years I should have known better.
Guilty! I was guilty.
Silence is the room we create for the searching of God,
where we hear His voice and follow (Your God is Too Safe, Buchanan).
I admit I am working on this one. What about you? Can you remember to be silent – when you need to be.
Help us to be silent when we need to be. Help us to speak out when we need to. Remind me to spend time with You, Jesus. You centre us. You keep us focused on You. In Your name, we pray. AMEN.
Janis, a former school teacher and small business owner, found a new passion in writing in her retirement. A writer since 2003, Janis co-ordinates a group blog called Under the Cover of Prayer. She is also a contributor to a group blog called Family and Faith Matters.
Janis is the author of the award winning children’s book, Tadeo Turtle, published by Word Alive Press. She is the author and watercolour illustrator. For more information visit Janis on her website He Cares for You. She is a member of The Word Guild andInscribe Writers Fellowship.
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Thanks so much. Oh I am working on it too. Being open is key and if we are not silent sometimes we will miss what God is saying to us. But distractions including our own thoughts clutter up the pathway to hearing His Voice.
Hi, Janis! Yes, this is something I need to work on, too! I’m definitely a “reactive” person. But, I think you hit on something there…silence doesn’t mean we can’t be thinking, listening(to God and/or others) and praying in our hearts. I think the main idea in silence is being open to what God wants us to learn/hear. If we are clogging up His message with our own willful thoughts, then we won’t hear what we need to hear. Great post!