“Quiet is a think tank of the soul.”- Gordon Hempton, acoustic ecologist
“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.”- Psalm 32:7
Mark Batterson concludes Chapter 1 of Whisper with the observation that “God often speaks loudest when we’re quietest.” Hence, Pastor Batterson cites “The List of the Last Great Quiet Places,” compiled for the last 30+ years by Gordon Hempton. The list consists of places offering at least fifteen minutes of uninterrupted quiet time during daylight hours. At last count, only twelve such quiet places existed in the United States.
As a result, due to our hearing problems (the spiritual Tomatis effect), it’s critical that we hear God’s whisper. When white noise distracts us, God’s whisper quiets, calms, and stills us. In fact, since white noise contains every frequency, it’s especially difficult to hear the still small voice of God. Furthermore, we lose our sense of being when our lives get loud – noise filling every frequency.
Consequently, English poet John Donne once said that “I neglect God and his angels, for the noise of a fly. The solution? Stillness. Specifically, God’s still small voice.
However, we cannot equate silence with passive waiting. Rather, it’s proactive listening. Henri Nouwen once described silence as an act of war against competing voices inside us. Yet, each day we seek Him, God’s voice grows louder until He’s all we can hear. Henri states:
“Every time you listen with great attentiveness to the voice that calls you the Beloved, you will discover within yourself a desire to hear that voice longer and more deeply.”
Therefore, Pastor Batterson notes, silence is the difference between:
- sight and insight
- happiness and joy
- fear and faith
In conclusion, Mark asserts, there’s something even more important and powerful than talking to God in prayer. That’s listening to God. For listening transforms a monologue into a dialogue. Exactly what God wants.
Today’s question: How does quiet foster a think tank of your soul? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “Our soft spot – where God often speaks to us”