Silence. How often do we sit in silence and listen to the world? Do we ever walk, stand, or sit in silence, and observe the natural wonders God has placed before us? We have a lot of noise in the world and, for some, the idea of silence is not only strange but nearly unthinkable, as we cut on the radio in the car (or Pandora), plug in for every spare moment, or avoid silence in other ways. Silence, if observed with any kind of regularity, can open up spaces for God’s voice to speak to us in ways that we may never have imagined.
Conversely, when we think about God, do we think about silence? When we speak to God, do we perceive silence? Is there no one listening, no one on the other end; a silence that is deafening because we don’t hear God speak to us at all? This week, the book of Samuel tells of the young judge/prophet Samuel’s first encounter with God. God comes to the boy in the temple and calls his name. With the urging of an old mentor, Samuel eventually answers back, “Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening.” God comes to Samuel in the silence; God speaks to Samuel in the silence and, in answering back, Samuel offers to listen. Perhaps the first step in listening for God’s voice is the sound of silence and a willingness to wait for God’s reply to come to us but, in our silence, inviting the conversation in the first place.
This Sunday, I am asking that you take a moment of silence, pray in whatever way that is comfortable for you, and take the RenewalWorks Spiritual Life Inventory. If not Sunday, then sometime during the following three weeks. Taking the Inventory is easy (only 20 or so minutes) and has the potential of opening - in the silence - a conversation between yourself and God.