I'm trying to learn how to learn to cultivate holy silence.
It doesn't come naturally to those of us who are social creatures. My monkey brain kicks into high chatter when I even think about trying to meditate and pray, but I've come to cherish what I call my “quiet time” each morning and find it calming and nourishing. Occasionally I feel a very real message or nudge from God that I wouldn't have picked up had I rushed right into the day. It also happens sometimes when I'm alone outdoors, regardless of the weather. When I visited Muir Woods in northern California, I had a definite sense of holy silence.
Scripture and theologians tell us wonderful things can happen when we step aside from our normal busy-ness and seek holy silence. Christ himself went often into the wilderness to be quiet and listen for God's guidance.
“But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.” Luke 5:16
“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10
“While I pondered the fire burst into flame.” Psalm 39: 3-4
“For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.” Psalm 62:5
I found a devotional from Forward Day by Day tucked into my Bible from back on September 7, 2010. Unfortunately, at that time, their authors were not named.
“One of the hardest things to do is to wait, especially in silence. Yet, if we cannot wait, if we are unwilling to remain faithful in silence, the word we hear will more likely be our own, springing from our anxious spirits, and having little to do with the quieter, deeper, and usually more radical word that is of the Lord.”
How do you cultivate holy silence?