Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations. I will be exalted in the earth. Psalm 46v10
For the past four weeks in Cross Culture [High School youth group], we’ve been working through a series on spiritual disciplines (as made famous by Richard Foster). We’ve been working through a book called The Beautiful Disciplines by Martin Saunders, written especially for a teenage audience.
This past Friday we looked at meditation. I know from my own life that silence and times of reflection are extremely rare in my day to to day. Between music, Facebook, TV, email, work, friends, family, and books, there is very rarely a quiet moment in my life for God to get a word in.
It’s one of those things. I know better. I know I should set time aside. I know that constantly being stimulated by all this information is not healthy for my brain. And yet, I still find myself keeping my days full of noise and distractions. I just don’t do well with quiet. We’re wiring our brains to constantly require outside stimulation. [For a great article on how the internet and technology is impacting us neurologically, check out: Is the Internet Making Us Crazy? (Newsweek)].
So, how is God meant to get a word in?
This is something I struggle with. Silence. Quiet. Thoughts. Gross.
I learnt first hand earlier that morning just how bad my relationship with noise was when my neighbour yelled at me for listening to my music too loud…at 8.30am. I thought everyone was awake at 8.30. Oops. 24/7 if it’s it not the noise of one thing, it’s the noise of another.
To finish off the neighbour story. I was too chicken to approach her and apologize in fear she would murder me with her eyes. But I did write her an apology note which I left at her door. As a matter of fact, right now I’m sitting in silence writing this. It’s not so bad. And…well, to be honest. I’m still scared of the death stare.
Obviously quiet contemplation and meditation are just one aspect of our relationship with God. It is not the be all end all. And for some people, meditation and reflection is easy. For others like myself – it’s more of a challenge. Some people love it. Some don’t. But no matter where any of us are of the spectrum of love, hate, and meditation, it is still something we should all probably work into our weekly routine. Because, if anything a little silence sometimes is probably exactly what we need.