Silence – Peaceful or Deafening?
Silence, to some, is the sound of peace and to others it is deafening. But whether we like silence or not we must concede that silence or at least quiet is necessary to hear clearly. Our world today is noisy with not just the things that affect our auditory senses, but things that affect all of our senses. A world where busyness is a given and those that aren’t exhibiting it appear out of touch or even lazy. But we must circle back to the need for quiet to hear properly, understand clearly, and be able to discern what we are to do with the messages that we can only hear in the silence.
In 1964, 21-year-old Paul Simon’s song, The Song of Silence debuted in Simon & Garfunkel’s first album. The album was a sales failure that led the 2 to split. But producer Tom Wilson refused to give up on the tune. So, he did a little rearranging of the music adding drums and electric guitars to the original acoustic version. This change produced the song we know today. The republished song became an overnight hit reaching the number one spot on the Billboard Hot 100 in January 1966. This overnight sensation led to the reunion of Simon & Garfunkel’s partnership that resulted in many more hits.
Communication Requires Listening
Art Garfunkel said in a live performance that the song is about the inability of people to communicate with each other. Too many people talking to hear only themselves and listening without hearing. Are we speaking to each other just to make noise? Many times, we talk without really speaking. It is in this we hear but don’t listen, making all of it meaningless.
How many times do we do this in our prayer life? We go through the motions of speaking but don’t take the time to listen to the response. Quickly listing out our petitions and desires but not taking the time to sit quietly in the silence and hear the reply? If we want to hear the voice of God, we must first draw closer to Him through our attention.
This is the way to cultivate our listening skills to hear the voice of God. This practice of sitting still in the silence and listening to God helps us know Him better. In this, we also learn to be open and to listen to those around us who are different or that has a unique perspective of life that doesn’t look like ours.
Through stillness, we can learn to truly see and listen to people who come from different backgrounds, cultures, and races. When we practice listening for God in the silence, we carry that practice to other settings. In this, we can hear and listen to people who are different from us. And this is another way we often hear the voice of God. As we can hear His truth through those around us.
All People, Everywhere
As we continue to practice listening to and for God in the silence, we learn that God came to earth for everyone and not just a select group of people. Christ gave us the illustration of the Good Shepherd because He knows that sheep know the distinct voice of their shepherd. This parable of Christ gives us knowledge of His earthly mission which was to die as the sacrificial lamb to pardon the sins of the world. Christ doesn’t limit Himself to the walls we often try to build around Him. And if we will lay down our noise and create a silence within ourselves, we will hear Him more clearly and be able to share His message with others that may or may not be like us.
I have other sheep, too, that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them also. They will listen to my voice, and there will be one flock with one shepherd.John 10:16 (NLT)
Where to Find Your Silence
It is often difficult to find silence in our day-to-day world which means we have to make it. Whether we live and work in the busy city or the quieter open spaces of the countryside we can find the silence by looking within ourselves and actively seeking the voice of God through listening. When we quiet our soul even for just a few minutes, we not only find peace but see that Christ is for all people everywhere. He doesn’t limit Himself to just our small silence, but He is able and willing to move in the silence of others as well.
It is in our time of silence that we can listen to God and learn to recognize that Christ saves the sins of the world not just our personal world. Through this revelation, we are to invite and include others. Won’t you take the challenge today to sit in silence for at least 3 minutes drinking in God asking the Holy Spirit to open your ears to His message? Find your conviction rooted deeply in the knowledge that the Good Shepherd knows you and wants you to hear His voice clearly whether in the silence or noise. Seek your motivation in sharing your knowledge of Christ with the largest circle you can form. And lastly rest in the comfort of knowing that the Good Shepherd is prepared to help you find silence and navigate the noise all while being able to discern His voice.
Love in Christ,
I drank the silence of God from a spring in the woods.Georg Trakl
What are Your Thoughts?
Do you actively seek silence every day to hear the voice of God? Have you struggled to sit still and know God amid noisy chaos? Share your thoughts on the importance of knowing God’s voice in the silence so you can share Him with all people everywhere.
Credits Romeo, C. (2018, August 15). The 'Sound of Silence' is a Hymn to Resistance. Retrieved from Medium: https://firstname.lastname@example.org/the-sound-of-silence-is-a-hymn-to-resistance-a8bc3608d357