Tuesday, January 26, 2016
When retirement came some five years ago, it meant leaving several decades of suburban life to a rural setting in the country. Where as, the next door neighbor used to live within spitting distance, now the nearest house is a half mile away across a five acre hay field, over a branch (creek), and through the woods. In the winter time, their lights can be seen through the barren trees. No longer are eyes bombarded by billboards. No longer are the ears overwhelmed by the noises generated by so many people living so close together. Life on a farm seems softer in some ways, harder in others, but certainly it is a quieter life.
It would seem that in such a place it would be easy to live with Psalm 62:1 which says, "For God alone my soul waits in silence." After all, sometimes it is so silent you can hear pecans hitting the ground at the end of their journey from the tree, or grass being torn from the ground by the tongues of grazing cows, or the sound of wings flapping in the air when our resident Canadian Geese make a low flyover. Certainly, it is a quieter lifestyle around here. If you want to find some silence, it is not a hard thing to do.
However, the silence mentioned by the Psalmist is not the external silence, but the interior one. To be waiting in silence for God is not about turning off the television, or putting away the hand held entertaining stuff glued to our hand. Instead, all these external distractions can be put away and it is still likely that we will miss the kind of silence sought by those who wait for God. The interior silence may mean no longer listening to the voices which question our value, or the voices which keep us working for more of that which is not really needed, or the voices which tell us we will never be good enough. When we begin to experience the external silence, the inner voices are likely to get louder. Getting rid of those noises is often harder than turning off some noisemaker.