Deliberate silence

Fasting isn’t giving up unhealthy stuff. It is giving up unhealthy dependence on stuff.

We talk about all the noise that is part of our lives. Not just audible noise, mind you, but the sheer volume of sights and smells and touches and tastes in our lives.

Even without the intentions of those trying to sell something there are constant noises around us, the presence and traces of those we love (and those we don’t). Add to those noises the stream of images and sounds and taste choices of those seeking our attention, those involved in deliberate unsilence.

Lest you wonder whether that last sentence was a criticism of advertisers and marketers and public relaters, I’ll remove your doubt.

Yes, it was.

Including me.

I am involved regularly in deliberate unsilence. Every day I am generating words and thought images and stories and photos with the intention of disrupting silence. And so are you.

But at 6:30am on Ash Wednesday, in a quiet house, I can choose to be silent, or not. I can choose to have noise, or not. I can decide to look at the stream of images and words, or not.

I can decide whether there is an unhealthy dependence, or not.


5 responses to “Deliberate silence

  1. I read this blog silently most of the time, savoring the words allowing them to speak to my soul. So it is ironic I would choose a post on silence to speak but I had to break the silence to say “Amen.” I find myself yearning these days for more moments of silence, those reverent moments when it is so still you can hear the praise of God’s creation whispering softly. Today is a good day to remember, reflect and be grateful in silence. Thank you for the reminder.

  2. This post is helping me shape how my Lenten fast is going to look. Thank you.

  3. Once again, how very timely. I’m reading, “Say Yes to No” by Greg Cootsona and he talks a lot about the noise of technology and the need for silence. Just last week I had lunch with a Gen X techie type who is routinely embracing solitude and other spiritual disciplines.

    As a result of these two influences (and the Spirit’s leading), this year for Lent I’m giving up noise. Not the noise of four children and pets in a busy household, but the noise of technology during times which might otherwise be spent in daily Sabbath. Worship, family time, play and rest.

    I’ll keep you posted.

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