A Time to be Quiet


So I’ll admit it – I really like to watch TV.  I know it’s not the most Christian thing to own up to (and when I was doing eHarmony, it wasn’t something I put on my list of enjoyable ways to spend my time) but at the end of a long day when all the world seems to be asking for a piece of me, I really enjoy turning off my phone, sitting down on the big, comfy chair with the remote, and clearing out the shows on my DVR.  It’s mindless, it’s relaxing, and it’s my little guilty pleasure.  I can fast forward through commercials and only watch the shows I’m really interested in now that we have the lovely DVR in our house. 

television

So when I felt God tugging at me to give up the TV and radio for a few weeks, I wasn’t thrilled.  I knew I needed to do it though.  It seems that sometimes there’s so much noise and commotion around me, that God has very little opportunity to speak.  I do my devotions nearly every day, but I’m often rushed, trying to fit it in between my shower and breakfast, and don’t always take time to really listen. 

I’ve been dog/house sitting for a friend for nearly three weeks and during this time, the TV and radio have basically stayed off.  After about three days, the silence was SCREAMING at me.  I felt like I was going to lose my mind.  It was so hard.  All I wanted to do was turn on the radio just for a little background noise.  But I knew that wasn’t what I needed to do.  So I sat in the silence, in a peaceful, lovely home, and read, goofed off on Facebook, and wrote in my journal.  I didn’t really even talk on the phone much. 

PonderingAfter I got over the initial discomfort of the silence, I started to get used to it.  After nearly three weeks of basic silence, I’m even enjoying it a little.  Today is actually the last day of my stay and all the season openers for my shows are stacked up at home, waiting patiently on my DVR for me to plow through them, and I’m seriously considering just deleting them and (shock and awe) not trying to catch up.  I’m not making a commitment to that craziness right now.  I’m just thinking about it.

During my time of silence and listening, I believe God has spoken to me.  In August, I went through a very deep, personal struggle – begging God to provide some things that seem to have been terribly delayed.  My birthday is coming up this month and as I get a year older, it seems like much of life that others enjoy is passing me by.  I have a fantastic life and am so grateful for what I have, but some of the basic things that are common to adults are missing.  Additionally, some of the dreams I have that aren’t so common have yet to come to pass.  My spirit was screaming at God, demanding to know what’s taking so dag gum long.  I’ve done all the self-examination I know to do.  I’ve prepared myself spiritually.  I’ve read the books.  I’ve followed all the suggested steps.  Nothing is working.  I am ready for more. 

Gift WrappedIn my time of silence, God has been assuring me that His provision is already here.  He has been working out the details of my life for a long time and has everything under control.  What is to come has been coming ever since my life began and I just need to be still, stop struggling, and wait for His redemption.  It’s a very reassuring message.  It’s not the message I hoped for, which would include gift wrapped results that are delivered to my door yesterday (and a fantastic book deal).  But it’s a good message.  It’s a message of trust. 

The thing is, I’m a “doer,” a “strategic activator.”  I have documented proof of this in the form of numerous personality and work-style assessments.  I like to be moving!  I like to have a goal to accomplish and steps to take. This thing about sitting still and waiting makes me feel like I’m sitting on my hands while others are getting everything done.  I like to be in the middle of the action, not on the sidelines.  Yet God seems to be reassuring me that He needs no help from me to accomplish His perfect will for my life.  It’s my job to enjoy the calm and be delighted when the provision is finally in my hands. 

Tomorrow I will decide what to do about the TV.  Tonight I will enjoy one more night of waiting in the silence.

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1 Comment

Filed under Spiritual Life

One response to “A Time to be Quiet

  1. Teresa Stebbins

    I’ve gone through times of not watching TV all my life. I sometimes hate the hold it has in our lives, and yet, I love to watch TV. I especially like the DVR and the ability to be able to pick and choose what to watch. And to be able to fast forward through commercials is pure delight! But I sometimes ask myself what it is that makes me not like complete silence. I usually have the TV or music going on during the day…even if I’m not actively listening. The one time I really love the silence is when I’m outdoors sitting by a bonfire, or on a picnic, or other similar activity. I think those are some of the times that I feel closest to God…the places I see Him the clearest.

    We’ve gone through periods of ‘tv fasting’ and even made it one whole year once, until it was time for the Olympics, and we turned it back on. The really amazing part is that it only takes a moment to be sucked back in to it’s power and hold and feeling like you CAN’T live without it. I like watching TV, too, a lot in fact, but will always reevaluate it’s hold in my life.

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