Thursday, August 14, 2008

Silence is Golden


There is the freedom to be alone, not in order to be away from people but in order to hear the divine Whisper better. - Richard Foster

I am SORE!

We made it back from LAUNCH Sunday morning. That afternoon, Mrs. Ford and I took a long nap, ate dinner here with a friend (who gave us a bag of AMAZING boiled peanuts), and then ended the night by washing clothes and tidying up around the abode. Did I mention that I'm sore? But we had a blast acting like kids...with the kids (see above video). It's kind of weird to go on a church youth trip as a chaperon. After all, it hasn't been that long ago that I was one of those kids! Really, it hasn't been that long ago since I was one of those kids, and this guy was the youth intern, not the youth minister! Oh yeah, I just went there.

During our last time of corporate worship on Saturday night, LAUNCHers, LAUNCHettes, and the adult volunteers spent some time in silence. YES! Silence makes Americans uncomfortable (the Japanese use silence as a negotiating tactic in business dealings), but there are few things that I relish more than silence, or at least quietness and solitude. Has your significant other ever given you the "silent treatment?" Jamie has never done this to me because she knows it won't work! The "silent treatment" actually is a delightful serendipity...particularly when we're having intense moments of fellowship. If I'm mad at you and you're mad at me, not speaking to me strikes me as very reasonable and is fine by me.

Sunday night, I contemplated the discipline of silence/solitude. I went to my bookcase and pulled out Richard Foster's Celebration of Discipline; he defines solitude as a spiritual discipline. Foster's book doesn't contain an idle or insignificant word or phrase, but the one statement Mr. Foster made that was impressed upon me is that Christ inaugurated his earthly ministry by spending 4o days alone in the desert. Whoa! Good point. Even as someone with a predisposition to enjoy quietness and solitude, I don't use it as I should. This week, I've made a concerted effort to spend time in silence...listening. It couldn't have come at a better time.

1 comment:

Jamie said...

Don't count on ever getting "the silent treatment" from me...I much prefer yelling and gnashing of teeth!!!!