I am excited. I have the prospect of a relatively silent and quiet day ahead of me. The house is empty and will remain so until tomorrow. I love the quiet. This might surprise the people who know me well, because I also love music and movies. But the older I get the more I am learning to appreciate the all too precious and rare commodity of silence.
True silence is hard to come by in this day and age. Our world is so noisy. Some of us awake to the sound of a clock radio, amble into the kitchen for that morning cup of coffee in front of the t.v. and then switch on the radio the minute we hop in the car for the trip to work. We can't even go shopping without some form of music being piped into our ears. And if it isn't noise distracting us 24-7, we have advertisers doing their level best to use every available surface to attract and cajole us. Can we say "overstimulated"? It seems like someone is always trying to tell us what we should think, what we should like, how we should look and what we should buy. When do we have time for our own thoughts & meditations? When do we have time to compose the music of our own souls? Are we really so afraid of our own thoughts? Are we afraid that if we examined the contents of our own souls we would come up empty?
I often have the opportunity to spend time in our very large church sanctuary praying and meditating. For the most part I am alone and I treasure the silence of that space. I could sit for hours if my life didn't necessitate otherwise. Many times I pray and or sing, but many times I also just sit - listening. When I enter the silence I feel as though I am taking a shower internally. Things just drop. The external noise of the world dissipates. I am at peace. For me there is a beauty to the silence that is a music God alone can compose. From time to time I am not alone and someone comes in to clean or do some other task. On this day the young woman came up to me and asked me how long I was going to be there. She wanted to play the radio and was gracious enough to be willing to wait until I was finished. "This silence is so oppressive!" she said. I could only smile.