The anxiety-ridden cannot enjoy peace and quiet either. Their words and actions go on amid the din of unceasing noise. Their songs and pleasures are loud and slapdash, as if they were afraid to catch God’s alien note in the chorus. They meticulously drown out silence with incessant talk and noisy chatter, so that they can stay at peace with themselves. It is as if stillness were a threatening cloud from which God might emerge to rend their hearts. -Johannes Baptist Metz
I know the beauty of a quiet pause. I know the power of meditation. This is part of my work and my calling. And it’s still really hard.
Some days, I can quiet down easily. But many days, as soon as it’s too still, my head fills with my to-do list, the appointments I need to make, the people I was going to call, my grocery list…with anything other than nothing.
It’s counter-cultural to stop. To pause with no agenda is almost unheard of. Even if we are meditating, it must be to increase our productivity or to improve our relationship with God. We are addicted to getting things done.
Yet, the quiet beckons. Our souls long to breathe. Our bodies need, at times, to be still. We crave connection with the space in which we are all united, our egos set aside, in the presence of God.
The quiet will do things. It will change us, and change is rarely, if ever, easy. But this is God’s Advent in our lives – as close as our breath.
We are invited, this Advent, to pause: for 20 seconds before sending an email, for 2 minutes at a stoplight without looking at your phone, for 5 minutes over a cup of coffee…or if you are really good…for as long as you like. God is here, ready to sit with you. Jesus is born in the space between the words.
- How might you carve out space for a sacred pause in your day? Are you willing to experiment with silence?
- God invites you into holy moments of communion. What does that invitation mean to you?
Let us pray. O God, you are present in noise and in silence. Help us to meet you in both places. Help us to seek your presence which is always offered. Guide us into the deep stillness and silence that leads to holy action. Amen.