New Blog Post: Silence is Golden

Recently I was reminded of the benefits of silence. Happily, the governing board of my local church meets for prayer before they take care of the church business. At the recent leadership prayer meeting I felt called to invite our leaders to practice the discipline of silence. I began our time of prayer by reading a few lines from Dallas Willard’s book, The Spirit of the Disciplines (HarperOne, 1988): “In silence we close off our souls from ‘sounds,’ whether those sounds be noise, music, or words.  Total silence is rare, and what we call ‘quiet’ today usually amounts to a little less noise.  Many people have never experienced silence and do not even know that they do not know what it is” (163) (emphasis his).  “So for the sake of our souls, we must seek times to leave our television, radio, tape players and telephones turned off” (163).  “As with all disciplines, we should approach the practice of silence in a prayerful, experimental attitude, confident that we shall be led into it’s right use for us.  It is a powerful and essential discipline.  Only silence will allow us life-transforming concentration upon God” (163).  Accordingly, I believe the minute or two of silence that we observed between our prayers helped us to concentrate intently upon God.  I had another unexpected moment of silence last night that simply delighted me. I led evening worship at a neighboring church as their pastor is currently on sabbatical.  During the offering, when music is usually played, for some reason the sound technician was unable to play the CD.  The result was an unexpected silence, which was absolutely golden!  After the service, a young man approached me and expressed his delight at that moment of silence.  We agreed that it was an unexpected blessing.  Then we talked about the benefits of silence and the challenge in practicing it.  I left that service and conversation with a new appreciation for and determination to practice the discipline of silence.  Care to join me in this quest?

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