>Why I Need God in Silence

Posted: 30/10/2009 in Christian living, devotions

>Internet Monk posted a nice article recently that made me think about my own devotional life; specifically my tendency towards contemplative meditations and Liturgy. Also, it helps me understand why I can see some styles of worship as gaudy and over powering, while others can see God through them.

There are a lot of reasons why I need contemplative silence in my spiritual life.

I am an intellectual. Christian intellectuals have a role to play in the life of the Church and the world. We do a lot of the heavy lifting that others (often mercifully) don’t have to do. There is a downside though, we are often always talking and we frequently get the point where we simply love to hear our own voices. Philosophy and Theology can become “mental masturbation” as my friend put it. Silence reminds us to shut up.

I am a Musician. Musicians love music and we love being heard playing music. I am no exception. I have done music for the approval of others and for my own enjoyment. Bad thing? Of course not. Yet like being an intellectual, it is often a mixed bag when it comes to one’s relation to God. Do I need a worship CD -whether that be Sergei Rachmaninoff’s Vespers or rock-worship on a Sunday night to see God? The answer, when I think about it carefully, is no.

I am an Incurable Extrovert. I am often to outgoing for my own good. Maintaining friendships is so important to me that I often do not know when to say “no.” I am the first to assert that our encounters with God are rightly also encounters with other people -most specifically those Christians whom we pray, eat, and live with. Yet still, this does not mean that I can ignore times of reflection on the life of Christ or on the psalms or whatever else might be guiding my prayer life.

Learning how to shut up and listen, even when bored, is an on going process for me.

  1. >Yeah, me too. I relate to the musician's side, especially when I'm worshiping or leading worship. It's completely different than performing a piece for, say, a jury.And it's sometimes frustrating to find that fine line of listening to yourself just enough to stay on pitch and not distract, and of focusing as completely as possible on God. I've felt that I had to just STOP sometimes and experience the song without making a sound.I've heard that this culture is terrified of silence… there's so many noise-makers. To be able to take times of silence, you have to face yourself without any distractions. Humbling.

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