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.