My iPod died the other day. I was walking out the door for a run only to discover that I couldn’t turn it on. The frustration spread from my toes to my head in a matter of seconds because I needed to get out of the house. July and August in Texas can be described by a sign I saw on Facebook the other day. “The devil called. He wants his weather back.” As for me, I avoid hell at all costs which is why I had been holed up in my house for weeks. It was a nice morning with some cloud cover and I was ready to enjoy my playlist and burn off some calories before Dante’s Inferno reappeared. Alas, no music. I left the iPod on the counter and headed out anyway thinking I would think, pray and enjoy the scenery.
I tried to contemplate the deeper issues of my life. I tried to pray and listen for God’s voice. I tried to appreciate the birds that were enjoying the cooler weather of the morning. I tried so many things but my mind was overwhelmed with the sound of the morning. The sound of SILENCE. With every step my legs felt like lead and my lungs burned. My thoughts were unclear and my feet were cramping. Instead of enjoying my normal, easy run I felt like I was on the last mile of a marathon.
As I walked the last stretch back to the house, I realized that I have grown accustomed to noise. It does something for me that makes life much more comfortable. It distracts me from pain. Not only physical pain but all sorts of pain. The commotion of life easily overwhelms the quiet thoughts of God and those thoughts have a heavenly purpose. God doesn’t ask me to find solitude and quiet so that I can suffer. He calls me to a place of stillness so that He can speak into my wounds and bring healing. Facing pain means I learn from it and grow through it. If I never realize where I’m in need, how can I ask for His help? If I don’t find His healing, how can I help those around me? If I can’t help those around me, what good is the love that God has placed in my heart?
If we could pull ourselves away from the racket of this world for just a few minutes we might find silence to be much more of a friend than an enemy. We might become acquainted with peace and wisdom at a deeper level. We might even begin to understand ourselves and have more love for others if we could just stop and listen to the sound of God’s heart.
I think I may try another run minus the iPod. I have a feeling I’ll get stronger and run farther…eventually. I won’t be giving up my playlist for good, but there seems to be a few things I can learn running to the sound of silence.