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Transparent Thoughts

Savoring the Silence

Monday, February 8, 2010 • Marcia Swearingen • Silence & Rest

For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: 'In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength.' Isaiah 30:15 NKJV


     With the New Year well upon us, I'm very aware of the credibility gap between well-meaning resolutions and stark reality.  In the glow of Christmas lights, certain goals seemed noble and necessary: Get in shape, eat right, make time for faith, family, and friends--after I've cooked, cleaned and worked.  All of this in addition to life's unscripted surprises.  Suddenly, that sparkling gift bag of 365 crisp new days seems so much smaller when adjusted for inflation.  Where does the time go?


     The same place it's gone since time began.into eternity. Like greedy stepsisters trying to cram too many toes into Cinderella's dainty shoe, we run the risk of acquiring soul blisters when we try to do too much in too little time.  Secretly we're afraid the clock's going to strike midnight, before we've even made it to the ball. The sad part is, we're at the ball but don't know how to enjoy it.


     Experts tell us we need to leave a margin in our bank accounts and in our calendars for unexpected expenditures of time and finances. Otherwise we're liable to get overdrawn and overwrought. But how do we do that in a 24/7 culture that has no respect for boundaries unless you're watching instant replay in a football game?


     Long before technology was able to freeze-frame time, God had a better idea. He modeled it on the seventh day of creation and he called it rest. Only when He paused and rested was He able to reflect and see the beauty of all He had done and realize it was good. Maybe if we did a little more reflecting and less cramming, we wouldn't feel the need to do, be and want more.  A daily spiritual DVR might help us see that what we've already got is pretty good. Too much can cause heartburn.


     Perhaps the only New Year's resolution we really need is "don't forget to breathe." For optimum flavor, what's true for wine is true for people. What's true for the rest mark in a score of music is also true for the pause button on the remote.  Instead of thinking we must control everything all the time, let's go with the flow and leave room for God to work, to speak, and to bless. We'll probably be amazed.


     The other night my husband and I took a first step. We were in the same room with the television, but it was off. No crises, no sports scores, no scandals, just the fire, the clock, and the company of two good books we'd been planning to read. Our souls soaked up the silence and I know I felt Him smile.


Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.

--Matt. 11:28 NRSV


Visitor Comments (1)

Savoring the Silence, Most Excellent!

Dear Marcia, Thank you! I hope that I will remember to Breathe!!! Much love, Tobie

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