I heard Jason Miller say it this weekend: sometimes in my private worship, I manage to fill the space.
I have the capacity to fill my own silence with noise. I bring the noise.
- Sometimes I use my iTunes playlist and fill the space with music. It's good noise, but it's noise.
- On some occasions I bring my own bias to Scripture. I look up verses that I know. That say what I think I need or want to read.
- Other times I bring my list with me. My "Please God… will you please…?" list.
I'm quiet. I'm alone. I'm listening to Creator-focused music. I'm reading my Bible. I'm praying.
But it's not quite silence. I fill it with my own stuff.
Without realizing it I set the agenda. I script what my interaction with God is going to look like—if it's interaction at all. Maybe all I've accomplished is being alone.
If that's all I've accomplished then I can play 9 holes of golf (nah, too much frustration), walk alone, or take a nap. I'd be alone, but it doesn't mean I've created space to connect with God. That is, to listen and hear from God.
Somewhere in this space of silence I need to shut it all off. My agenda, my list, my bias. This practice of solitude and silence involves the challenging quietness that allows a sacred emptying to occur. To so center my mind and soul on the wonder, the presence of God in such an open way that I can hear a whisper. An Isaiah kind of whisper.
This requires practice. Quiet. Space. It may help to quote a single sentence from scripture, not to extrapolate or interpret, but to center our mind on God. Verses like, "Be still and know that I am God." or "Come to me all you who are weary and burdened…" Verses that help us to remember that we're not merely emptying our mind, allowing any thought or any presence. Rather, we are intentionally seeking Jesus Christ. We are entering silence alone to meet him. To be open to him. To listen. To "be still and know that I am God."
As Jason put it this weekend, the wonder of creation calls us into communion with its, with our Creator. Make room for silence this week. nd as you do experience the Wonder of your Creator.
Watch Jason's message and entire service at GCCwired.com.