Silence is hard. It's an art form, a discipline, a science of sorts. Most importantly, silence is needed.
What's odd, however, is how our culture caters to noise. It's all around us. Cell phones. Music. Movies. Podcasts. And that is just audible noise. There is noise all around us that we can't even hear, yet it crowds our minds and causes our hearts to feel like a neglected junk drawer. Noise like social media, the internet, magazines, and advertisements. While none of this "noise" is terrible in and of itself, it does cause what I call soul clutter.
Soul clutter is the absorption of noise to the neglect of silence. When we take in so much noise at the neglect of silence, our souls begin to feel like a messy desk—unorganized and scattered. I'm no stranger to this illustration. I find that when my desk is clear and in order, I'm able to concentrate on the tasks in front of me with higher intensity and focus. However, when my desk is messy, I have a hard time thinking, working and even concentrating. The same is true for our souls. When our souls fill up with noise and distraction, we feel hurried, anxious, and frantic. In other words, we experience soul clutter.
How are we to clean out the junk drawer of our hearts? How can we organize our messy souls? Through silence.
Silence slays soul clutter as nothing else can. Silence is a meeting between you and your own heart before God. As we embrace this meeting, God works wondrously to clear away the noise from our bombarded souls and instead fills our souls with His joy and peace as we gaze into His glory. Adele Calhoun sees the need for this silence before God when she writes,
"We need to realize that the world can go on without us for an hour or a day or even longer. We don't need to respond to every word and request that comes our way. The discipline of silence invites us to leave behind the competing demands of our outer world for time alone with Jesus. Silence offers a way of paying attention to the Spirit of God and what he brings to the surface of our souls."
Therefore, I am planning to take the whole month of December and purposefully shut down the noise of social media. While I love social media and don't feel dominated by it, I have a renewed desire to embrace the gift of silence to declutter my soul. I plan on continuing to write on this site which will automatically post new blog posts on all my social media outlets (so don't worry, I won't be cheating!). I will also still be sending out an email every week with my most recent posts.
Silence is a gift God gives us to see our hearts before Him—will you accept it?