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Archive for February, 2012

Silence.

I’m not Catholic. I am, in fact, lacking affiliation with any denomination of the church — which I guess makes me “non-denominational”, but even that, in its own ways, entails denomination. Actually, in many eyes, I’m likely lacking a lot of what’s in the long list of things that makes one a “Christian”, but again, I refuse to be labeled.

At best, I’m a hopeless wanderer, waiting for a spark to set afire everything I know.

I digress.

There’s a lot of things that I lack, but if it’s one thing I fail at, it’s discipline. I suck at anything and everything related to routine, which is… terrible, considering that’s mostly what our world operates one. (One can only hope that the Kingdom has no routine involved, aside from weekly shuffleboard leagues.)

So this year, about an hour before the clock struck midnight on Ash Wednesday, I decided: I’m going to do Lent this year.

I can’t tell you much about Lent. In fact, I can’t tell you much about anything related to Catholic or even Christian, but I can tell you that it involves fasting something until Easter. Who am I kidding — you all probably know more than I do.

I considered fasting meat. (Who was I kidding?) I considered fasting red meat. (More realistic.) I considered fasting junk food, soda, and all those things that I don’t see much of anyway. Then I decided that all of those things would be too easy, and besides, my main motivation behind any food-related fasting would be to be healthier and lose weight.

So I considered silence. In the recesses of my mind, I recalled an acquaintance giving up speech once a week for Lent. I was captivated by the idea at the moment only to soon forget, as I do with most things. Now I’m revisiting it.

Why silence?
If you know me, you know that one of the top five words used to describe me is “loud”. And let’s be real — this is about as true as any word can get to describing me. I am loud and, at time, incredibly obnoxious. It’s been an issue more than once, and I think it’d behoove me to shut my trap now and then and just soak in the world.

Biblically, it is recorded in all of the gospels that Jesus retreated to a “quiet place” several times throughout his ministry, including just before he was arrested. I’ve found that in my life, I’m rarely ever in a quiet place. I’m always watching TV, with a group of people, in class, at work, in traffic, etc., etc. Yet I know that I function best in silence or, at the very least, with nothing but music. I simply haven’t taken the time to sit in silence, and in return, I haven’t been engaging with God that much.

But one can’t simply be “too busy” for the big man upstairs. It doesn’t work that way.

By taking a day off from running my mouth, I’m hoping to…
1) Gain some discipline.
2) Learn how to listen to others more.
3) Learn how to listen to Jesus more.

Once a week. One day of silence. We’ll see where this takes me. Let’s do this.

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