Monday, February 21, 2011
We Need Silence
Silence is a form of prayer that most of us (except my Quaker friends), know very little about and yet God so often comes to us in the quiet whisper that can only be heard in the midst of silence. I wonder how often we miss what God is wanting to say to us because our lives are always so surrounded by noise.As I write this I am sitting in a hotel room in the upper west side of Manhattan. I have been here for two days and all I can say is "AMEN!"
Last ngiht for exercise I walked from my clients at 18th and 7th to my hotel at 75th and Broadway - about 3 miles which is the same distance I walk almost every day at home for exercise. But at home I am generally with my wife and we tend to walk side streets where there is little traffic - or when we have daylight we walk a park where there is near wilderness. We talk, but we also enjoy companionable silence. I find the walks refreshing sometime even energizing.
But walking the streets of Manhattan is just wearing and tearing and exhausting. It's noisy, crowded and a constant negotiation, not with God but with the thousands of others on the sidewalks. Normally I would walk in Central Park, but this time of year the short daylight makes that difficult. Last night I got my exercise, but I did not get my refreshment. Who could turn a thought to God - my mind both conscious and unconscious had to address the realities of just getting down the street.
Every time I come to New York I crave silence. Even a hotel room cannot totally isolate one from the noise of the city. I am not a person that likes a lot of silence. Usually I have a radio on or something. But not here - I want quiet - I want rest - in this crowd I feel more isolated than in a park alone.
I think there is a lesson there.