Listening to Silence

On December 20, 2015, I ran a half marathon, and it might have changed my life.

Woop-de-doo, you might say. People do that pretty much all the time. What makes this particular 13.1 miles so special?

I ran with a Deaf friend, and because I’m a crazy person, I decided that I wasn’t going to lean on my driving beats to keep me going. I was not going to listen to music.

Now, let me say, I love me some music. I be-bop to Death Cab for Cutie‘s “Little Wanderer” and just LOVE me some Of Monsters and MenChvrches plays in the background as I type, and the Tron: Legacy soundtrack is my go-to “get it done” playlist.

But those 13.1 miles of silence still echo in my mind.

We surround ourselves with noise. We surround ourselves with actions. We must do, do, do; go, go, go. Something must always be going on in our lives, or we feel that the time is wasted.

There is no time spent reveling in silence.

I am working on a counseling class as I am finishing my masters’ degree. The other night I was completing my assigned reading for a book review, and found myself “amen-ing” everything that this author was saying.

“Reaching Out” divides into three parts, and I was reading through the beginning, which discusses moving from Loneliness into Solitude. (I have capitalized those for my benefit; the author does not personify them as I have done).

Loneliness fills the silence. Solitude revels in it. Loneliness feels hollow. Solitude is fulfilling. Loneliness fears silence. Solitude welcomes it and learns from it.

The reading this past week, and the ruminatings of the past month collided in my mind as I curled up in bed; light turned off, staring at the moonbeams filtering into my room.

I have hidden from silence. 

Yet at the same time, I have not. I have lived in an odd place that embraces and pushes it away. Like a small child who demands the toy, but would rather play with the box, I’ve been rather petulant in spirit. I’ve allowed myself to wallow in Loneliness without exploring that crossover into sweet Solitude. The silence in which He speaks; using that soft voice that is heard only by careful listening and waiting on Him.

“Be still, and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10

Sometimes, the silence has far more to teach us than the noise ever will. I have slowly, and perhaps even unintentionally, moving towards silence. Walks in my neighborhood are not according to playlist or podcast; rather they are marked by the quiet breezes and the muted chirping of birds as they settle in for the night.

More and more, I find myself choosing the silence; choosing to revel in and learn from glorious Solitude.

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