My friends and I are going through a book about spiritual disciplines. The latest chapter we read was about silence and solitude. The idea that silence and solitude could be spiritual disciplines seemed strange to me, but the more we read and discussed the more it made sense. Our days are filled with noise. In fact, it is hard to go someplace that is truly quiet.
Especially, I think, in recent years; technology keeps getting bigger and better. Perhaps in the days before we had all these smartphones, Bluetooth, streaming music apps, Netflix, and other video players, the world might have had some silence—a peaceful time when you were alone and could sit out on the porch and listen to the chirping of the crickets and frogs, or a time to walk through a field of flowers or produce and enjoy the silence and the beauty of God’s creation as the sun sinks and the sky bursts with amazing colors.
It would seem those days were easier to find time for silence and solitude. Now, people, including myself can sometimes find it uncomfortable to sit in silence. How often do we pick up our phones and play music to pass the time while we’re getting ready? Even though it might be harder nowadays and possibly uncomfortable to be by yourself and in silence, it is still really important for a Christian to find that time.
Even when I do find myself in silence and not bothered by it, I never think to use it as a time to grow closer in my relationship with the Father. Silence and solitude can and should be used as a time to read the Word, concentrate on prayer, listen for God, enjoy His handiwork, and more. It could be used as a time to try and see where God wants you in your life and in any decisions you need to make, or it could be used to take time to rest in God and His promises. Basically, it should be used to strengthen your relationship with God and for you to listen for God, for the Holy Spirit, to lead you and strengthen you.
Learning to take opportunities of silence as well as make times of silence and solitude will be a hard habit to get into, especially in the always-connected and noisy world we live in, but it is a very important discipline to get into and use in our Christian lives.