Spiritual Disciplines // SILENCE & SOLITUDE
By Donia Hovet
“Dear friends, I warn you as ‘temporary residents and foreigners’ to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.”1 Peter 2:11 (NLT):
During the pandemic I found myself feeling extremely irritable with my most wonderful family members (whom I love and would die for!). Yet, as the stay-at-home order continued, I found myself increasingly annoyed by their presence. They were ALWAYS THERE-I couldn’t get a moment to myself! So I began taking long walks. What a relief it was to be out in the warm sun-ALONE! The solitude was rejuvenating (as was the exercise!).
During my daily walks, I listened to various podcasts that I found amusing or educational. I also listened to a book about our country’s racial history. Sometimes I would do my zoom meetings while walking or just listen to music. But I rarely walked in silence.
Peter gives a bit of a warning: keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. I fear that our culture has taught us that we must always be filling our minds with SOMETHING. Content surrounds us, begging to be consumed. The war of noise is waged against the rejuvenating and healing power of silence.
This past week, Isaac reminded us that apprentices of Jesus are EXILES in the land they live in. As exiles, we have to practice different customs than those who occupy the land. Silence is foreign to our culture. We take noise with us everywhere we go. We are insulated from one another and from even our own thoughts. As exiles, we have to make a concerted effort to ADD SILENCE to our lives. Quietude is a striking contrast to the screen-infested land in which we live.
- This week, earmark a time to take a walk in silence. Leave your earbuds and your phone at home!
- When you return home, take 5 minutes to journal:
- What did you observe about your surroundings?
- What thoughts crossed your mind?
- Was it difficult to be alone with just your thoughts?
- What people and/or situations did you think about?
- Pray over those people and/or situations that God brought to mind during your walk.