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November 20, 2009

Silence

By Sibyl Towner, Co-Author Listen to My Life

In this busy world have you considered silence as a life-giving rhythm?

Silence is a spiritual discipline that allows you to create a space in this busy world to encounter and hear God. One way to do this is through a silent retreat. A silent retreat is when you put yourself, alone or with others, in a place where you cease speaking in order to listen to God.

I think the first step in a silent retreat is to get in touch with your body: How fast is it going? Is your mind racing? Are you pacing? I often go to my room and sit in a chair placed near a window and gaze out at creation. I let my body slow down to the rhythm of creation. Often what happens is I suddenly realize how tired I am and I might give my physical body a rest by taking a brief nap.

By this time, I am more ready to listen to God, who has been waiting for me to be with Him. I might even say, “God I am here and I want to hear you.” I might read through some scripture – Psalms or a portion of scripture that follows the church year calendar. As I read it, I sit quietly inviting God to speak to me. I am not studying the scripture but receiving God’s word to me. I may journal, be quiet or read around the text. I may have a book that I will read which creates a listening space in me. I may take a walk and invite God to speak to me through his creation. I come back and write or draw what I have heard, prayed, read, rested or delighted in the Lord during my time in silence.

At the end of the day, I slowly ready myself to return to “life.” What has happened in this time of silence is that I have allowed God time and space to tell me that I am his beloved daughter. I have detached for a brief time from “my world” and can now come back to life more free, and more truly myself.

SCRIPTURE REFLECTION

“Come near to God and he will come near to you.” --James 4:8

QUESTION

Why do I delay in coming near to you?

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