Today in chapel, one of the really popular theology professors, Michael Bruner, spoke about silence. It was an excellent message and if you would like to listen to it, let me know and I will post the link when it gets up online.
So when I got home, I made myself sit in silence for ten minutes. No distractions, no praying…. just sit and think. The first three minutes were incredibly difficult. And I was wondering why. So I decided to think about that.
“When did silence start becoming such a bad thing to me?” I wondered. I chastised myself for this thought – it is part of our generation! It is not specific to me. But then I remembered the most prominent times of silence growing up was “time out”. I had done something wrong. And my punishment? To be alone in silence. That was a punishment. My K-8 Catholic school had the same punishment when you did something wrong.
So I grew up with the belief that alone time was punishment. And I know now that it isn’t. I am not saying that time out is wrong or anything like that. But if that was the ONLY alone time I ever had (punishment!) it is no shock that I ended up seeing silence this way.
The rest of the 7 minutes had me reflecting on pieces of a quote that I liked and how it applied to me as I fell into a more comfortable way of thinking. Once I got over the urge to text all my friends right away: “Guys! Guess what I learned about myself!”
I hope that this can become regular for me. In addition to God time and silence before God and silence in prayer and listening in prayer and speaking in prayer – silence with me. Just thinking. Without any distractions. Ten minutes each day. I am SUCH an easily distracted person. I love the internet. I love my iPhone. I love texting all my friends all the time. But there has always been a deeper desire in me to unplug for a while. Get away.
Let’s hope I can do this. Anyone with me? 10 minutes of pure thinking a day – no distractions, not even prayer. (The possible horror of me saying this does not escape me. I earnestly believe in prayer every day as well, of course. And Scripture every day. This is on TOP of that, not instead of that.)
Comment on this if you are so we can give each other a friendly reminder? Or maybe that seems a little counter productive.