"They came to Capernaum. When he was safe at home, he asked them, 'What were you
discussing on the road?' The silence was deafening-they had been arguing with
one another over who among them was greatest." (Mark 9:34, MSG)
Imagine the arguments that were flying during these discussions. Selfish noise was reigning, but it all stopped when Jesus asked: "What were you discussing on the road?" Only silence reigned then!
Interestingly enough, we all strive for some kind of greatness: at our job, social interactions, among family members, at sports and even online. In fact, this last one seems to be the primary focus in our world, which is good and bad at the same time. Let me explain . . .
How hard would it be for us to turn off our computer for a week? Or turn off our cellular phone for a month? Or even close our Facebook account? What if a new law was passed that forbade people to text? After all, texting is on the rise, so much so that laws had to be created to avoid car accidents. What if being wired was banned? Could we continue to live normally?
It's sad when we know more about our Facebook buddies than the people we interact with on a daily basis. How hard would it be for us to turn off all our electronics for a year? Would we survive?
When I was young, it was no better. My mom always had the TV turned on, and my dad was always listening to his loud music, sharing it with the entire building. Silence was non-existent, to the extent that I started to wear ear plugs. Our society doesn't like silence. Why?
Try it. Take a week of silence. Through silence we will find out who we truly are. Maybe this is why we prefer noise, any noise! But then, how will we eventually face eternity? If we don't even know who we are, doesn't this mean we didn't live to our full potential?
This is why silence can make a great difference in our life. "This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: 'In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.'" (Isa 30:15, NIV2) Finding out who we truly are is the first step to realizing what is most important to us. To some it is the bottle. To others it is self-righteousness or jobs, or even being a sour puss...
When we are sick we want to know the reason for our illness. Is there a cure? Isn't it even more important to find out what we are missing in our lives? Eternity depends on who we are and on whom we truly put our trust. If love is non-existent, we have missed the boat: "No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us." (1John 4:12, NIV2)
I urge us to take some time off to spend in silence and find out what our real focus in life is. We have a guide that is willing to help us with this: God's Holy Spirit. "The Spirit of the Truth, he will take you by the hand and guide you into all the truth there is." (John 16:13b, MSG)
We may not enjoy silence, but it can save us for eternity if we take it to heart.
It certainly wasn't pleasant to be arrested by Nazis and thrown into prison at the Gestapo Headquarters of Kohn. The filthy cells were overfilled with prisoners, each one awaiting their torture session that could come at any time. Once in prison, silence reigned.
After a while, however, many inmates would become more and more outgoing as they began to realize that caring for one another was way more important than sulking in self-pity. They would start filling their days in prison with meaning. They would start their day worshipping God together. Strangely enough, no one was ever opposed to this. Then each prisoner would share something: a poem, a song, a joke, so that they would not lose courage. Some of them even made cards out of pieces of cardboard. Each one shared their life story, their future plans, their interests. They would pray and sing together and even make drawings or scribble on the walls. They even tried to perform theatre plays, which brought a lot of laughter.
Terror sprang up whenever their cell door opened, however. Who would be next for torture? Even though they were in a hell on earth, those who eventually were freed had some pleasant memories of their fellow inmates. Their lives were drastically changed. They knew now what was most important in life: love! That's what kept them strong!
"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." (1Cor 13:13, NIV2)
What is more important to you? Find out today!
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