When I was young, I was shy and often quiet. Contrasting Megan’s story, I had a difficult time speaking up in school, even in college it took me time to find my voice and feel comfortable to speak up in a class.
However, as I age, I find myself coming out of my shell, constantly talking to friends or coworkers. Now I have the problem of not knowing when to be quiet!
I need to know when to just shut up and listen or when it’s okay for there to be silence in the room.
One of the biggest mistakes I make as a social worker in therapy sessions is trying to fill gaps of silence. It just makes me uncomfortable! I become very fidgety, and I try to fill the space with questions or some kind of response to whatever the client may have just said.
There have been many times when I have mentally rebuked myself to just shut up and sit in the silence. Silence is part of connecting with others and part of the healing process. Silence is also key in hearing God’s voice.
David writes in Psalm 46 : 10 (NIV),
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”
I have a hard time being still! There are so many distractions around me - the television, my laptop, my fancy smartphone, chores that need to be done, and the list goes on! I become easily distracted, antsy, or impatient sitting in the silence, but I must be still. I must wait quietly.
“The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him; it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. It is good for a man to bear the yoke while he is young. Let him sit alone in silence, for the Lord has laid it on him. Let him bury his face in the dust— there may yet be hope.”
It is important to know when to be silent and when to speak up. If you are not quiet when you should be, you may miss something crucial.
“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”
Do you know when to be silent? Do you sit in the quiet to wait to hear God’s voice, or are you like me struggling to sit still and listen for his still small voice? How do you silence the distractions around you?