I just recently attended a retreat where the speaker Dr. David Busic spoke to us regarding the benefit of silence, solitude and rest. He was speaking to a group of people in vocational ministry but the truth applies to all of us in every profession. In a noisy clamorous world, there is a desperate need for quiet and solitude. During his message, Dr. Busic told us that most of us suffer from hurry sickness. Everyone is in a hurry. We are all busy, but do we all have to be in a hurry? When one tries to slow down, find solitude and enjoy peace and quiet, often there appears a feeling of “I am wasting time when I have so much to do?” In a busy world, why should I slow down and practice silence and seek solitude? Allow me to mention a few benefits that will come to our lives as a result of silence and solitude:
- Practicing silence and solitude reminds me the world will go on with or without me. One of the reasons we hurry is the constant drive to get things done and to make a difference. Yet stilling myself helps me to realize that I must nurture my own soul and become centered in my faith.
- It helps me to be renewed and refreshed. We are addicted to noise. Every time I get into someone’s car and they turn the engine on, immediately the radio starts blaring. Now, I listen to audiobooks and podcasts while I am in my car, but I wonder if we are addicted to noise out of fear of being alone with our thoughts?
- Slowing down helps me to break my addiction to speed and hurry. Better decisions are made in a thoughtful relaxed atmosphere. There are important things to do, most can be done in a reasonable way without the breakneck speed so prevalent in our world today.
- Silence helps to clear my heart and mind and assists me with gaining spiritual and mental equilibrium. Every day we are bombarded with messages, requests and reminded to hurry up and go fast. Silence helps to counterbalance the hurry addiction.
- It is amazing what you hear when you are silent. You can hear the still small voice of God. You can sort out all of the minutiae and discover what is truly important.
- In solitude, it is as if I learn how to breathe and relax again.
- Solitude is a great foundation for which to start the day. It restores a sense of calmness and certitude to my life.
- Practicing silence and solitude helps me to not only think clearly but to be thoughtful instead of reactionary.
- Silence and solitude allow me time to check my attitude, heart, and mind. It keeps me focused and disciplined.
There are many ways to practice solitude. Silence and solitude lend themselves to other important habits such as prayer, Bible reading, journaling, and reflection to name a few. The psalmist said, “Be still and know that I am God.” Knowledge of God comes not through the hurricane of activity but in silent contemplation and trust. So today, why not slow down, find a quiet spot and practice silence and solitude? Do this practice for some time for a few days and you may just be surprised how relaxed and unhurried you will feel. In this noisy world, it will not happen automatically, if you want some moments of quiet, silence and solitude you will have to plan for it or it will never happen. Take some time today and slow down and quiet your heart and mind. It may be just the medicine that you need.