Tuesday, April 29, 2014
I find that lately I have been desiring moments of silence. I don't mean just turning everything off and being alone (although that was a part of it)...I mean stillness of thoughts in such a way that you get to experience peace...
Silence and peace really are synonyms. There is so much 'noise' in the world and in our lives. We are constantly bombarded with thoughts and worries, not to mention the obvious noise of traffic and loud voices of people in our lives whom we have to try hard to tolerate (I know it sounds bad, and no, i do not have those people in my life...oomph).
I remember a few years ago, my life coach made us write down one hundred tolerations that we have in our lives...I thought she was joking - that's a lot! Can you think of one hundred things that you TOLERATE? I dare you to go ahead and write them down. They would start with the obvious ones, like the annoying old lady next door who constantly shouts and cusses for no reason at you and the dogs simply because she is old and any noise bothers her and she is too old to hold her emotions, and you have to 'turn the other cheek' because it's just not worth it...so you tolerate it...every day, a few times a day..if you have demanding kids or siblings - that would do it! Then as you get to number forty five, your tolerations are not as obvious. It may be something like: overlooking the fact that you always ask your friends to close the bathroom door to prevent the dogs from going there so the bathroom can stay clean. The static of life, the 'noises' that become tolerations - the small stresses in life, small things that tick you off. What are your tolerations?
Silence...mental break from worry, that peace that surpasses all understanding. We all desire that. Wouldn't that be wonderful to experience? The funny thing is - we have that FREELY available to us on the regular. I used to think that I need to just jump on the plane and go somewhere, get away from everyone and everything to experience some peace. Sometimes I am so tempted to do that even now...and I am sure that in many cases that is definitely the only way to get away. Taking a vacation can be so refreshing and helpful, but that is not always the case...because many times we need a vacation from vacation! As one of my very wise mentors would say, "Wherever you go, there you are", so really, finding rest and making time and space for silence is an intentional choice.
Silence...can you hear it? How wonderful it is to be able to experience the sound of silence while experiencing the presence of everything that is real in that moment...It really does sound so sweet...it's a sound of letting go of tolerations and worries, a sound of peace and rest within one's soul - I believe that's what Heaven feels like. Imagine not even one worry in the world. Better yet, imagine having that even in the midst of storms, confusion and chaos of this life. Perhaps that was what Jesus meant when He taught us to pray "Your Kingdom come on Earth as it is in Heaven" - that we can experience His Kingdom while we are still here...and His peace that surpasses all understanding is just as available to us...so how do we get to experience it?
If we truly believe that the Word of God is true, that His promises are true and that the Holy Spirit - our Comforter, our Counselor, our Helper, our Advocate, our Intercessor and our Strengthener is always available to operate in our lives, shouldn't our lives be impacted drastically? The power of the Holy Spirit is on Standby...waiting for the available opportunity to come into our life, all we have to do is ask, and that power is unleashed. It is not out of our own will and strength, but the awesome Power of the Holy Spirit that allows us to keep calm and keep our peace.
We are not in control of many circumstances nor those around us who bring about tolerations and 'noise' into our lives, but we do have the power available to us, through the Holy Spirit, to react differently to those tolerations and still experience that silence and peace in our hearts...
...and for that I am thankful...