Whenever I go home to Ohio, probably one of the biggest adjustments to have to get used to, is…the quiet.
Falling asleep, there is nothing. Maybe a distant train. Maybe the ticking of a clock. But it is silent.
Especially in the winter. When there’s a blanket of snow covering the ground, the silence can be deafening.
A far cry from New York City, that’s for sure.
Ambulances, garbage collectors, cars, rowdy bar crawlers, blaring music — all things I fall asleep to. In fact, from my bed, when I put my ear to the ground, I can feel and hear the subway pass beneath every 4.5 minutes.
Needless to say, silence is a bit of an anomaly in the concrete jungle.
But not here. Not in Ohio.
And there’s something about lying here, eyes closed, listening to the stillness, that I realize just how powerful that lack of noise is.
And how I could use a lot more of it.
This past week has been a whirlwind of epic proportions. Christmas, traveling, cooking.
I’m sure you can relate.
No matter how non-commercial you try and keep Christmas, the fact is, you can’t show up to parties empty handed. Christmas cards have to be sent. And people expect a token of appreciation, even if it is non-monetary.
So that means running around like a bat outta hell trying to get things done.
But it is in the silence that I finally am able to breath. Relax. Think.
And, with literally nothing else as a distraction, my mind is able to wander. And come to the sobering realization that this is missing from my life. The quiet. The stillness. The moments of no distractions where I can think and pray and listen.
I’ve been so restless these past few months about boys and life and career, and I wonder…when was the last time I sat in silence like this? And just think?
Not even church is an avenue for contemplation anymore, with its hymns and people watching, and interaction. All well and good – but admittedly, lacking the stillness.
God speaks to us in the stillness. As a “gentle whisper.” 1 Kings 19:12. We need to “stop and consider God’s wonders.” Job 37:14.
This is not such a simple matter. Being still is not nearly as cut and dry as we may think. Because honestly, when we slow down and be still, we have to sit with ourselves. We have to come face to face with some truths. With who we are. With who we’ve become.
And that, can be scary.
But I think, it’s a necessity. For growth. For our relationship with God. And our relationship with ourselves.
Ohio may be onto something with its silence. With its ability to be quiet. And still. It provides an opportunity to reflect.
So for now, I’m going to just shut down the computer and enjoy this respite from the noise and absorb the silence. To sit with my thoughts and prayers and just be.
And think about that little Child in the manger. Because He was born on a Silent Night, just like tonight. And I bet if we listen close enough, we may even be able to hear the Heavenly Hosts sing Hallelujah.
Hope everyone had a beautiful Christmas.
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