The Importance of Silence
by Brenna J. Fields
Have you ever been so busy with various things in life until you feel like you can’t think straight? You’re moving from task to task, assignment to assignment, doing them on autopilot (or so it seems). Then, when you finally come out of that busy season, you can take a moment to exhale. You breathe a sigh of relief, thankful that you have been able to successfully navigate a crazy time in your life, and you take a moment (hopefully) to just pause.
This is exactly where I am as I write this. From January until this past weekend, I have been moving non-stop! The month of February was particularly crazy for me, having coordinated 3 events, facilitated my weekly group coaching program, led my bi-monthly online book study, taught my weekly Sunday School class, and worked my day job. I prayed that I would get through all of that with some level of success, and God definitely answered my prayer.
As I am now able to exhale a bit, one of the things I’m learning is the importance of silence. This past Sunday, I spent some time at the beach, which is one of the things I enjoy doing to relax. While sitting in the sun and enjoying the breeze, ideas began to come to mind about the next things I can do in ministry as well as my businesses. Where did these ideas come from? Why weren’t they coming before now?
I believe my ideas stopped flowing because my mind was too cluttered; there were no room for me to receive them! If those ideas had come while I was in the middle of finalizing plans for 3 events, when would I have acted on them? They probably would have been lost in the shuffle of everything else.
I understood the importance of silence prior to now, but this season has reinforced this lesson in me. Two things are standing out:
First, while we will have seasons of busyness in life, we should not want to exist in a perpetually busy state. One effect of overwork in my life is that I don’t sleep well. My sleep is interrupted by my mind trying to remember all the details of what I’m working on, especially if I’ve got multiple things going on at the same time. It’s not good for our physical and mental health to live like this all the time.
Second, we must schedule and plan downtime. As I was in the middle of everything in January and February, I kept looking at the calendar to see when I would get a break. Then I made up in my mind that I would take that break (even if I didn’t exactly know at the time what I would do with it). Not only do we have to schedule and plan our downtime, we must also protect it. Invariably, something will come along that can potentially rob us of it, so we must be intentional about safeguarding it. Learning how to say “no” is an important part of this.
I encourage you (as I remind myself) to remember that silence is important. Silence is not a waste of time! It enables us to recharge, refocus and to be inspired to take the next steps to achieving our goals. Be sure to take time (and make time) for silence, if not today, then one day very soon!