Solitude and Silence
At this time of year, we may find ourselves overcommitted and overwhelmed. Work, social, school, and even spiritual commitments fill our calendars. Life’s volume gets turned to 11 and we are not sure what to do. If you find yourself here, I would like to offer two words that can transform your life: solitude and silence.
Solitude and silence appear counter to what we need during this time of year, but the reality is that our heavenly Father calls us into these practices. Jesus exemplified this after his baptism. He was led by the Spirit to the wilderness where he spent 40 days in solitude preparing for the good work he was about to do. Jesus also instructed his disciples to seek solitude during the amazing ministry they were undertaking (Mark 6:31-32).
Solitude and silence help us identify what is imperative versus merely important. These practices help us experience God on His terms, and to feel His presence and guidance. As we lessen ourselves, He becomes greater within us. This is a true gift from God. Theologian Richard Foster states, “The purpose of silence and solitude is to be able to see and hear. The Spirit speaks to us when our heart is still and silent before the Lord – not when we’re rushing about and doing our own thing in our own way.”
German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer offers a helpful perspective: “We are silent at the beginning of the day because God should have the first word, and we are silent before going to sleep because the last word also belongs to God…Silence is nothing else but waiting for God’s Word.” If you are struggling to slow down or unable to feel the presence of God, please contact me. I would love to meet with you and see if you can experience our Father more fully.
Keith Priest, Christian Counselor