A few days ago I posted a blog about all the “noise, Noise, NOISE” in life. Â In that blog I encouraged us to find a way to turn off the noise and find times of silence.
This morning I decided to follow my own advice. Â Here’s a rundown of the experience:
First let me explain that your experience may be different than mine. Â I am expressing my journey through the lens of my Christian faith. Â I realize there are people subscribed who enjoy my music but don’t process any faith at all, or perhaps, a different faith. Â Regardless, these exercises are still good for all. Â Silence and reflection is so important in our modern age of noise and distraction.
I setup in my studio in a super comfy leather chair w/ ottoman. Â Â I didn’t want to be distracted by the computer so I setup a short playlist of songs that help me get into an attitude of worship and used the Remote app on my phone to control it.
Yes – music. Â Before I entered into my time of silence I wanted to prepare myself with a little music. Â I closed my eyes and listened to two powerful songs: Â “Jesus, We Love You” from Bethel Music and “The Lord’s Prayer” featuring Andrea Bocelli. Â I put my iPhone on silent and set an alarm for 20 minutes out … about 10 of which would be the music and 10 of which would be silence.
Once the music ended, the room got quiet very fast. Â The sound of the air vent above my head roared. Â More than that, the voices in my head started shouting. Â I said to myself “it’s OK, be quiet, be still”. Â It was the kind of soothing and coaxing you’d give a little baby who was startled or your dog who was trembling to go chase after something.
It’s OK – just be still.
This is the thought that I focused on. Â In addition, I would center on the thought that this was a good process and I would whisper (only in my mind) to the Lord that I was surrendered to Him.
It was a struggle. Â One immediate voice that I heardÂ was concern about a business idea. Â Then I had thoughts about some family issues. Â I heard some speculations that I know aren’t true, so it reminded me that I couldn’t trust those voices I was hearing right out of the gate. Â I calmed my thoughts and got quiet again but this battle continued. Â Perhaps the most frustrating thought of all was how I couldn’t help but think how this experience would make a good blog post. Â (for real – how’s that for vulnerability).
I’ve been told countless times that the object is not to try and make something happen or hear something or do something — it’s just to “be still”. Â Still, the production-driven nature in me wants to have something to take away from the experience and I fought that the entire time.
In the end, I’m happy to say that I did have a thought — a glorious thought — that brought refreshment and joy to my soul. Â It was so simple, yet profound.
In my mind’s eye, I saw a leaf drop into a flowing stream. Â The current was moving at a noticeable, but leisurely pace. Â Perhaps my walk earlier this morning where I noticed the water in the ditches flowing away into the marsh with the outgoing tide is the reason I saw that. Â But then I had understanding:
The water does not need to speak to the leaf and tell it anything. Â It does not need to tell the leaf where it’s going or give it any instructions whatsoever. Â The leaf simply needs to fall into the water and be taken away.
For me, I was the leaf and the water was God’s purpose and plan for my life. Â In my time of silence, I did not need to hear Him speak. Â I did not need to hear direction or ideas. Â I simply needed to surrender and fall into the water, trusting it would take me where it was supposed to.
That was kairos for me. Â It released me from any requirement to hear something although I’d say what I saw spoke to me profoundly.
Shortly thereafter, I got a bit anxious about the time and fought looking at my phone to see how much time was left. Â I wanted to win by making it through the session without worrying about the time . Â It seemed like the time should have come and gone. Â I finally caved and sure enough, I’d set the alarm incorrectly and I’d already gone well beyond the 20-minutes I’d established.
That’s my experience. Â I wonder if anyone else has tried taking some time away from the noise this week. Â If you have, I’d love to hear about it.