(In The Life Of The Church)
On Silence by Taylor
While I was in seminary I spent quite a bit of time learning about prayer and silence. I had never practiced silence before coming to seminary and I have found that because of the type of person that I am (that is to say – the type of person who is a people pleaser and who leans a little bit towards extroversion, the type of person who really needs to be alone to be able to differentiate between my own thoughts and feelings and the thoughts and feelings of others) silence is a pretty formative and important practice for me. And so at one point I shared that on the old social medias – cause I wanted all of my friends to know.
So I penned Facebook status that said something like,
“I’m learning a lot about the importance of silence in my life right now.
I think that would surprise anyone who knew me in Middle School.”
And I’ll tell you what – the replies started rolling in. Turns out I have quite a few friends and family members who fancy themselves comedians because they had plenty of funny things to say.
“Yeah!” They said, “That’d surprise anybody who knew in High School too!”
“Or Elementary School!” said someone else.
“Or college!” said another helpful friend.
“Or EVER!” said my mother. (Thanks, Mom.)
The Psalm for last week in the Lectionary is Psalm 19. V.14 says:
May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart by pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
The Bible has a great many things to say about our words. How we use them, when we use them, what they accomplish, and what the consequences of them might be. And in thinking about my own words I have often found Psalm 19:14 helpful because it seems that the two different actions described go hand in hand. When I am careful about the meditations of my heart I often find it much easier to be careful about the words of my mouth.
And I think that is one of the reasons that I found the practice of silence so helpful – when I am remembering to practice silence daily (or at least regularly) I find that instead of feeling the pressure of having to fill up the rest of the day with words (and occasionally say something I don’t mean) I often have less to say, or I at least have created space within my life to process what is good and important to say and what is not. Which is important. Because the words we use, and how we use them, are important.
This is definitely something I’m still working on and figuring out. So if you have any questions or if you’d like to get together and talk about this sometime please let me know! You can email me at email@example.com.
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