I received a lovely gift last night. It wasn’t wrapped in pretty paper with a big bow or stashed inside a colorful gift bag with matching tissue paper. It wasn’t like a gift you get for your birthday or Christmas, but, it was a gift nonetheless.
The gift I received was silence — a few minutes of nearly complete silence.
I sat on the deck of our cabin in the mountains during the last hour of daylight — that time of day when the natural world transitions from day to night. The warmth of the day waned but night had not yet arrived, even though the clock indicated otherwise.
As I sat in my rocking chair, looking up at the canopy of trees, I was struck by the utter silence. No birds sang, no crickets chirped. There was only the slightest rustle of leaves in the trees.
I sat transfixed for several minutes. How strange to not hear sound at all. It was so peaceful.
The sounds of the day were gone.
- the blaring of the television announcing a continuous stream of bad news
- the sound of small planes taking off and landing at the nearby airport
- the trucks traveling up and down the mountain roads of the planned development next door
- the hammers announcing a new home being built
- the dogs barking at the kennel below us
- even my own noisy thoughts circling through my mind
The tensions of the day and my dark mood slipped away as I contemplated the silence. The glorious, blissful, welcomed silence. Peace.
I said a prayer of thanksgiving to God for this beautiful gift. He reminded me of the words of His Son:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
Eventually, the silence was broken by someone in the distance shooting off the last of their 4th of July fireworks (which greatly disturbed my puppy). Then, the air conditioning unit under the deck turned on. But, it was okay. My few minutes of complete silence, listening to the Spirit of God did a world of good.
We live in such a noisy world don’t we? Literally and figuratively. Have you ever sat in complete silence for a few minutes and listened for God’s spirit? Do you enjoy silence or do you avoid it? Why? I would love to hear your thoughts.
If you are one of my regular readers, you may notice many of my blog posts are about the mountains of North Carolina. This place we visit in the mountains is my best source of inspiration. I find that I am able to think more and write more here than anywhere else. I’m sure it can be attributed to the slower pace, the beauty of creation and the absence of the things at home which clamor for my attention. If you are looking for a place to visit in the mountains, especially if you want to get away from the heat of summer, check out the area around Banner Elk, North Carolina. You won’t regret it.