Our lives are noisy. From the moment we wake up to the blare of our clock radios, to the radio to accompany us to and from work to the television which keeps us company at home to music as a running soundtrack to our lives as we jog or run errands, our lives are filled with constant noise.

When we doing have the noise, the sheer busyness of our schedules, our self identities wrapped up in what we do. Too many of us think that we’re indispensable, that we have to be at our jobs, at every meeting, at every volunteer group or whatever, from sun up to sundown. We run ourselves exhausted, fueled by the certainty that there is not enough time in the day to get everything done. But we try anyway. In being busy for busy’s sake, we fail to realize that much of it boils down to empty activity, ways of hiding from ourselves.

Rather than always running around filling our lives with being busy, maybe we ought to try the underappreciated discipline of learning to be still. Our need for constant diversion fuels both our restlessness and our avoidance as we end up never attending to the things that matter most. Ultimately, we become disconnected from ourselves, God, and each other.

Sometimes we just need to disconnect from the world. Silence is the final reduction, to be completely at rest, in solitude so that internal dialogues can best be had. Oh, we don’t want to. Think of how we punish criminals: it’s one thing to lock them up in their penal communities, but when they are too bad among themselves, we put them in solitary confinement. In the silence, you have the madness of yourself and only your inner junk to deal with. When you have to confront who you are, your fears and your doubts. In this unknowing of ourselves, we are left to deal with the depths of your heart, the emptiness, the loneliness.

But this is a fight that must be waged if you are ever to finally know peace. Times of renewal and reflection, silence and solitude, helps us to cleanse our hearts and listen better.

[This blog would have been a lot shorter had I just written: “Thank God Spring Break is over and my kids are back in school.”]

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