29 July, 2014

Babbling Silence

Often times, I've come into the living room and my husband will be watching TV; however, it 
will be in the silent mode!  This is different.  I've even experienced this on football Saturdays and in the South that is just not acceptable.  Our goal is to scream and yell for your team....loudly!!!  Our kids have teased Ray about this strange phenomenon.  This silence unnerves them and me.  We want the loud and the noisy game day experience.  Don't we?

Maybe it's just a personal preference of an introvert vs. an extrovert or maybe the problem is that I love hearing words.  I love to speak them, write them, read them and hear them from people in my world.  I struggle at times with the thought that I'm not hearing enough words or the right words from my husband, my parents, my kids and my friends and even from God. "Speak" to me I shout.  Talk to me and let me know your thoughts.  What is your plan?  If I turn up the volume on my inner TV will I hear?  If I speak enough words will you understand me?  I can't hear you in the silence.
Then He said, "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words." Matthew 6:7
I've received a new freedom this summer.  Through a small study of Matthew, I've come to a new place of freedom.  A freedom to....just....be.  A freedom to linger in God's presence and use no words.  Often in my life, even though I've been taught for years that it is not the truth,  I've lived equating 'doing' with achieving God's favor.  What do I mean?  Here's a partial list: Work hard, volunteer, be active in your church, serve on committees, go on a mission trip, pray every day, be in a small group Bible Study, use your gifts, share the gospel, give to people who are poor and serve.  And yes, this is a good list of how to live a sold-out, Christ-following life but NOT to the extent that I lose Jesus in the process of all the doing.  Sometimes all the going and doing replaces the heart of our worship.

My freedom has come in the fact that when I accomplish NONE of these activities...it is still me (and you) that He wants to BE with....in silence.  Not babbling in prayer, not babbling in life activities....just minutes of free flowing silence.  It's a beautiful, freeing language.  I have found He speaks loudly in the silence.

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