Silence is getting harder to find. Between the pervasive electronic gadgetry providing access to a million different songs and the busyness of our lives; who even cares for silence, there is too much to get done. This is not a healthy place to be. I recently went hiking in a local park alone and it took a long time for me to shake off the anxiety of being by myself. It had been probably 15 years since I was in the woods on my own. With no ear buds, the voices in my head quickly filled in the silence. What would happen if someone needed to get a hold of me, will that squirrel looking for an acorn attack me or could they find me if I hurt myself? The anxiety eventually started to subside, but it was amazing to observe how my immersion in this world of suburbia and concrete has warped my sense of reality. The babbling brook, rustling leaves, light breeze or just quiet can be unsettling, but they have been around a lot longer than our modern conveniences. A co-worker enjoys hunting and fly-fishing and seeks out this isolation as often as he can get it and the phone connection serves only to document his catch before they are released. I have been practicing mindfulness meditation and starting to appreciate the silence on the inside and the outside. For many this is a time to communicate with God or focus on what is of utmost importance. It is in these quiet moments we can hear things that would otherwise be drowned out. It is important to listen then hear; to be intentional.
What is a benefit to pursuing silence? How has silence been a burden? What have you learned from silence? What will you choose to give up to embrace silence? What do you expect from your time of silence?