Friday, February 4, 2011
Quiet Enough to Hear
It was about sunset today when I heard them coming. I peered through the gray sky in the direction of the loud honking noise until I saw them. As I watched, these Canadian Geese came directly toward me in a perfect V-formation over our farm toward our neighbor's pond. They were no more than a hundred feet above me as they came soaring by. For some reason, as they drew overhead they ceased their honking. I looked up, was amazed at how close they were, and thought it better to look down in case something unwanted came dropping from the air. Better to be hit on the top of the head than in a mouth opened in awe and amazement! As I looked down for a moment, I heard something I had never heard. It was perfectly quiet. In that silence I heard the sound of fifty wings moving up and down through the air. It was an indescribable, gentle, soft, rushing sound. It was a moment of sheer wonder!
In our world filled with constant noise, it is not always quiet enough to hear. I had always missed the sound of wings moving through the air because other sounds and noises were too overwhelming. Surely, living in a world that is not quiet enough keeps us from experiencing "the sheer sound of silence" (I Kings 19:12). Such was how the prophet Elijah experienced the holy presence of God.
There are those moments of quietness which slip up on all of us, but most of the time it is necessary to be intentional about creating them, or moving into them as they are shaped for us by God. Allowing the demanding noises to captivate our attention only means missing some of the important stuff God has for us. If we truly want to hear the voice of God and know the wonder of His presence in our lives, it must be quiet enough to hear.