Posted in God

The Art of Silence 

Today is a day off. A true day off. I have no plans, no projects breathing down my neck. Of course, when you work from home, there is never truly a day off. But I’ve found you have to listen to the calendar and clock for the most part, or you’ll have a nervous breakdown of sorts. (Those that have lived with me can attest to this).

So being that, today is a day to just..be. And yet, I can’t. I don’t know how to rest. I don’t understand rest. My definition has something to do with rest is a time to slow down, wear sweatpants, and then spend the whole day doing minor productive activities that make life run smoother. Things like cleaning out drawers, finally fixing that spaghetti mess of cords behind the desk, or transferring the data I’ve got stored in a spreadsheet, to a much more efficient app. This is what rest means to me. Something’s wrong. if I can’t find such things to do, then I get anxious, cranky and bored. Rest stresses me out. Something is really wrong. 

I heard about these nuns that believed in this thing called contemplative silence. They would spend hours just silencing their spirits, minds, and bodies just to let  the refreshing power of God wash over them. Its a beautiful concept. I imagine it would make someone so secure in the beauty and reverence of God that nothing could shake them.

 I could see them, after these silent hours, working out in the community dealing with the frazzled, frustrated people of their time. How they must have been a rock to those they met. How must people have thought, “In this crazy, mixed up world, where nothing seems right, there is peace and stability.”

Being somewhat this frazzled, frustrated person, I wanted to be this secure, peaceful, person. So I tried this experiment in silence. I lasted about five seconds. Even in my silence, I planned. I prayed. I thought. I could never just be. What is it about our world that we don’t understand silence? We can’t handle it. And if we can’t handle silence, then we sure can’t handle rest. 

This is why we can’t understand God. We can’t shut up long enough. Then again, who am I to talk? I’m a writer who just spent her afternoon off blogging.

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