The Noise / Silence and Solitude

While reading the chapter called ‘Silence and Solitude’ in Donald S. Whitney’s book – Spiritual Disciplines, I became convicted on something I often do. To a certain extent, it seems that I cannot function without constant noise. While on the computer, I often listen to music. When I go to bed at night, I turn on Praise in the Night or my Phil Wickham CD. Music is always on in my car, when I clean, when I workout, and even when I study. When I’m about to study, I’ll usually open my Windows media player and put together a nice little playlist of Christian contemporary. Every now and then, I’ll wonder if my mind is overstimulated because at times, I find it hard to focus and it seems my mind is filled with thoughts, questions, and situations… none of which have to do with what I am reading. When this happens, I usually become frustrated and close the book. I was reminded of all of this when I read the following:

Many of us need to realize the addiction we have to noise. It’s one thing to turn on the TV, tape, or radio to listen to while ironing or doing other chores, but it’s another thing habitually to turn one of these on immediately upon entering a room just to have sound. Even worse is to feel that it’s necessary to have background noise during Bible intake or prayer. I believe the convenience of sound has contributed to the spiritual shallowness of contemporary western Christianity. The advent of affordable, portable sound systems, for instance, has been a mixed blessing. The negative side is that now we don’t have to go anywhere without human voices. As a result we are less frequently alone with our own thoughts and God’s voice. Because of this, and because we are the most urban, noise-polluted generation ever, we have an unprecedented need to learn the Disciplines of silence and solitude.

As I read the rest of the chapter, I had tears in my eyes and resolved to make it a point to have a time of pure silence and solitude before my Father every single day. I was also reminded of the verse that had been seemingly repeating itself over and over in my mind for the past few weeks. Although I knew it was in the Bible, I wasn’t 100% sure where… figured it to be part of a Psalm, and while reading through the chapter, Donald used it:

But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him.
Habakkuk 2:20 ESV

For the past few weeks, the verse has been popping into my head at odd times… and I think I may understand why. God is reminding me of my need to seek Him in silence, to adore Him, to talk with Him, and just to BE in Him… in silence. No music, no outside things, just silence before Him. I will make it a point to be in complete silence before Him daily. Whether it be one minute or one hour, it’s a must. I believe it’s a must for all Christians and I believe that if we all would seek moments of silence and solitude before our Creator, our lives will be blessed. I’m not talking money or tangible things, but the peace of God, renewed spirits, focused minds, His fullness… things of much more worth than the things that are perishable. Our walks and relationships with Him could be so enriched if we’d take time to spend in His presence consciously.

May we consciously bask in His beauty, His loveliness, His love… May our lives be enriched for His purposes. May we look like Him more and more each day.

Grace and peace.


5 thoughts on “The Noise / Silence and Solitude

  1. Anna says:

    It’s so true. I find that even as I’m falling asleep, I like to listen to something. Everything’s so much more uncluttered if we give ourselves a chance to soak in silence once in awhile.

  2. LaRosa says:

    Amen sis! I know exactly what you mean. It has become a very bad habit of mine to always have something playing, even to the point where silence is deafening to my ears. I used to enjoy silence when I was a teen, now it’s like I can’t live without noise. I have music on while driving to work. I have sermons and music in my ears all day at work. I then come home and turn on the TV or listen to music. Even when I’m studying, I’ll put on an instrumental album or something soft and go about my study. I have lost the enjoyment of silence, and like you, I must find it again. It is definitely a must because if we are to clearly hear what He has to say, it must be done in silence without distraction.

    On another note, this may be playing a part in why my mind is so scattered, because I never take time to sit down quietly and sort through my thoughts. Interesting… Thanks!


  3. Ndidi says:

    That chapter keeps me in check. I both love and loathe silence. It’s in silence I’m more in tune with God, yet with a busy schedule with studying, I have music always playing. Or podcasts. Thanks, Jenn. This will keep me in check.

  4. Carlos says:

    I’ve found that going to bed early allows me to get up early in the morning. I try to get up at 5 am everyday and it’s the best time of the day just because it’s so quiet. A wonderful time to spend with the Lord.

  5. misha says:

    hey sis…it’s funny how we are all so different…i on the other hand, won’t remember a bit of something i’ve read unless there is DEAD silence (i might add that this is a VERY bad thing, especially when you have a toddler and an infant and there’s hardly EVER a moment of silence) :O( sigh, but thanks for sharing! love ya much sis and miss our phone conversations!

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