ALBERT Einstein was a late talker. He was four before he uttered a word. According to one story, surely apocryphal, at the dinner table one evening, he finally broke his long silence: “The soup is too hot,” he complained. His parents, greatly relieved, asked him why he had never spoken before. “Because,” he replied, “up to now everything has been in order.”
Some silences are too full for words. The medieval mystic Meister Eckhard once suggested that nothing so much resembled the language of God as silence.
Sarah Maitland noted in her book A Book Of Silence that Christian scholars in the Middle Ages argued that the devil’s basic strategy was to bring human beings to a point where they are never alone with their God, nor ever attentively face to face with another human being.
We have forgotten the beauty and power of silence.
Jesus frequently headed away from the crowds to find some solitude and peace to just pray.
Silence does not come easily.. There are so many noisy external factors around us that are almost beyond our control. New technology keeps the noise right at everyone’s fingertips each and every moment. Our lives continue to get busier and busier.
This does not mean that silence is unattainable. It merely means that we have to be intentional about seeking it out.
Mahatma Gandhi used to have “silent Mondays” when he would not speak and avoid anyone who wanted to converse with him.
Perhaps that’s a bit extreme. Finding the silence starts with perhaps spending four or five minutes in the morning without turning on any noisemakers – including family members – and just listening..
Some things take time. We have to learn to shut up and listen.