I admit it. I’m a news junkie. I keep up with politics, news, current thought, and baseball scores. Whenever I have a spare moment and an internet connection, I like to check Twitter and a couple of favorite news sites to see if anything new has happened in the last 15 minutes.
Then last week, I attended the Orange Conference in Atlanta. I was up before 7AM and out the door to the sessions, busy through the day, rushed through dinner, and back to my room after 11PM. There was no time for catching up on the news.
Now that I’m back home and in my routine, I’ve noticed a startling truth about last week. In the absence of 24/7 access to news and politics, my outlook, my mood, and my sense of inner peace was noticeably improved. Without realizing it at the time, my spirit was being refreshed by the absence of the drip, drip, drip of internet input. I was experiencing the golden effect of silence.
The value of silence is under appreciated in our culture today. In our quest to be connected and relevant, we’ve given up the valuable process of reflecting on the events of our lives. Unless we take the time to look back on the events of our days, important thoughts or events or words will slip into the rubbish bin of our memories, becoming just another random event in the daily grind.
This truth has important implications in our spiritual lives, too. I can’t think of a single time that I sensed God speaking or leading outside the context of quiet reflection. Noise and distraction only serve to confound, to confuse, and to muffle the quiet leading of the Holy Spirit. I’ve never known God to compete with the pace or volume of my world.
As I review my notes from the conference in order to absorb them, I’m finding I’ve learned a valuable truth that the keynote speakers didn’t teach. My soul needs regular intervals of silence. The world didn’t end because I wasn’t connected to the web, which suggests I can turn off my phone without fear of provoking the Apocalypse. Granted, I might miss the latest headline or the most recent polling numbers, but I might also hear God speaking to me.