Reading this morning from Disciplines for the Inner Life I encountered a couple of timely quotes I want to share with you.
Have you ever had a problem that seemed like it grew more complicated the more you thought about it? Thomas Merton writes:
Contradictions have always existed in the soul of man. But it is only when we prefer analysis to silence that they become a constant and insoluble problem.
Some things, it seems that Merton is saying, can only be resolved in silence. And those that cannot be solved we recognize for what they are, namely, contradictions, questions, problems that in the grand scheme of life are not worthy of excessive energy, time, or resources.
Silence neutralizes many of our great struggles.
Another quote on the issue of silence comes from Henri Nouwen.
Ideas of value always shun verbosity, being foreign to confusion and fantasy. Timely silence, then, is precious, for it is nothing less than the mother of the wisest thoughts.”
Silence. The kind that is so quiet you can actually hear that small ringing in your ears. The longer you stay in silence the more you begin to hear, and I’m not talking about noise. In silence you begin to hear the rhythm of your soul and if you listen closely you will begin to hear the voice of God. It’s an amazing discipline that is to often neglected due to the noise and busyness of life.
I find my best “silence” in the morning.
How about you? What have you found to be true about silence?
One thought on “Just be quiet”
I actually find ‘silence’ in activity. Quieting my body does not always equal quieting my mind. I used to spend so much time trying to sit quietly, listen quietly, etc but realized I actually listened less! My mind would think of 1000 other things. Now I’ve learned to find my silence in ‘quiet’ activity—kayaking, walking, home improvement projects, yardwork, driving—I’m so much more in tune with listening & recognizing God’s voice.
I also have my ‘quiet time’ every morning with my cup of coffee & my Bible–reading. The day always seems ‘off’ if I don’t have that start to the day.