Tuesday, June 26, 2007

being quiet

By nature, I guess, I'm just not a quiet person. I used to have the Bible being read on tapes for a significant portion of time daily, driving my wife a little crazy. And then I'd turn on music which Deb didn't mind, but still grew tired of.

Those days are gone, but I still do play some music, listen to books being read when I'm doing work with my hands, and reading alot, when I have time. So there's really not much stillness in my life.

But I've come to see that I really need stillness in order to better hear God's voice to me in Christ and through Scripture. I may not hear God's voice to me at the times of quiet, but such times do better prepare me for hearing God's voice when I read Scripture.

What have you found to be true about this in your own life?


Doug Jones said...

stillness and silence are essential in my life so that I may be more aware and attentive to God throughout the everyday... It is not convenient, easy or cheap to take time away - it costs me, my family, in efficiency and all kinds of ways - but it is essential. I find I need to go some PLACE other than my routine and regular haunts - for me I try to spend a day every other month at a "local" monastery.

L.L. Barkat said...

this is why I've been spending time outside alone every day. it is teaching me stillness, teaching me to listen.

Ted Gossard said...

Doug, Thanks so much for sharing that with us. This is one area in which I especially feel more need of growth in my own life.

Though I keep quiet times everyday, I would like to learn more from people like you.

And also I think it is most important to learn by doing. This is what I intend. I do sense the need deeply to grow in this area in my own life.

Ted Gossard said...


Thanks, Just the point, we learn the most by doing. But it is encouraging to hear your words as to its importance in your own life.

KM said...

Off-topic Ted -- sorry... I know I've said thanks for the Volf (Free of Charge) recommendation before, but now I'm actually reading it & wow!

It's speaking to so many constant challenges in my life -- especially ones that contextually Volf couldn't possibly have intended to address... That's the Spirit at work, Ted. Speechless!

Thank you again and God bllllllllesss you, friend! :-D

Ted Gossard said...

KM, So glad you're getting so much out of it! I like Volf much, and he's an author you have to keep working on.

Same goes with Bonhoeffer in "Life Together", who reminds me in many ways of Volf (or better put, Volf reminds me of Bonhoeffer)!

Halfmom, AKA, Susan said...

I crave quiet and stillness, I think, in part, because I'm an introvert functioning in an extraverted, and frequently, male-dominated profession.

My daugher, the extovert of the family, said that she was probably 16 before she realized that seeing me sit curled up with my Bible and study references, or even scientific articles, in a totally quiet house with the shades drawn wasn't a form of mental illness because it was so foreign to her nature.

However, her extroversion has taught me a great deal about interacting directly with my environment which gives me lots more to think about when I can be still and quiet.

Ted Gossard said...

halfmom Susan,

I think that's part of the blessing of interacting with each other. In the fellowship the good of your quietness and desire to reflect can help others who in turn help us with their outgoing nature towards life and others.

I don't even know what I am for sure. I love to talk and interact with people, and I love to just read, read, read and try to listen and learn from others. My wife thinks I'm extrovert, probably because while not shy, she is quiet by nature.

Whatever, I still find I have to work at being quiet, and as Bonhoeffer says, this can prepare us for really hearing the Word/Scripture of God.

Your story is interesting and I can readily identify with the desire to just read. And though I have no trouble talking to others and going up to others, I have to make myself do that, quite often.