There is great value in silence.
This simple epiphany is brought to you by an early morning where I’m introspectively silent and outwardly silent with the exception of the sounds of the morning birds and an occasional grunt from the cows in the pasture. One might attribute this to removing myself from the distractions of the hustle and bustle of the daily grind, the string of news stories about pandemics, emails, text messages, and all social media. But, I can be just as distracted sitting on my deck in solitude. What I’ve learned is that silence is intentional. Silence is the gateway for true discovery. Erling Kagge, author of Silence in the Age of Noise, assisted in recognizing these important truths about silence. He states, “I tend to think about silence as a practical method for uncovering answers to the intriguing puzzle that is yourself, and for helping to gain new perspective on whatever is hiding beyond the horizon.”
I’ve found that simply getting away and being quiet isn’t the same as experiencing the power of silence. To be in a state of silence, one must enter into the experience with the intention of being vulnerable and courageous. Experiencing the joy of discovery in silence is ultimately rewarding but can be painful. In a true experience, we cannot expect to only find truths (or pieces to the puzzle) that bring enlightening, positive warm fuzzy feelings. We must also grapple with the growing pains and the admission that negativity has brought about harmful habits as we cope with living our lives.
As much as I’d love to pause here and move into a perfect example of this, I can’t. This experience is so intimately personal that individuals uniquely experience it and decide if it needs to be shared.
Kagge mentions that “God is in the silence.” For me, I need to let my faith guide me more in my discovery of who I am. I’m trying to read the Bible more. In the midst of learning about silence, I came across this verse as Moses is leading the Israelites out of Egypt. Moses says, “The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” Exodus 14:14 (Thanks for meeting me where I am, God, and reminding me of this important truth when I am most open to receiving it.)
“Silence is never old under the sun, it is new everytime.” -Erling Kagge, author of Silence in the Age of Noise