We fear silence because that is often mistaken for loneliness. And loneliness is the curse of our generation. We run and hide from it as much as we can. But sometimes the sound just gets turned off in our personal world.
Only then we become almost ‘cornered’ to be with ourselves. And invariably being with ourselves isn’t a fun time. We can be assaulted with fears, worries, insecurities – which can all cripple, scar and even paralyze us.
And therefore the urban noise, chitter-chatter and music – they become the obsessive/compulsive soundtrack of our mundane existence. We are the generation of headphone-adorned travellers that almost have no room for silence.
And therefore we miss out. Stating the obvious, we miss out on the beautiful birdsongs, the cries of little children, the banter and laughter of teenagers, the cutlery rattling in a restaurant, the swoooshing noise of the espresso machine in a coffee shop and even the inviting shout of a market stall seller. Ordinary precious mundane moments.
But more essentially, we miss out on God’s voice. As we fill the silence with the noise of our TV’s, radios and MP3 players we find hearing God’s voice either through his Word or the godly counsel of others – drowned out. Our attention span is crippled and we find reading boring and listening to others dull.
I invite you to join me in turning the sound off around you. Let God’s creation and your context become opportunities to discern and learn something new. Allow this silence to become the canvas on which your thoughts are being drawn. Don’t fear them (as terrifying as they might be), face them. If you do that, you will find yourself enriched, as a person that has a newly discovered sense. It won’t be easy but it would be worth it.