I am still reading Tony Jones book on spiritual disciplines. I just finished the chapter on silence and solitude as a spiritual discipline. As I was reading I was reflecting on the power of silence and how I struggle with silence. I am an expressive person. I process my ideas by expressing them. So silence is a challenge for me. (That is why blogging and journaling are a big help for me!)
I can remember as a small child going to visit my dad for the weekend. My dad is not a talker. I remember rambling to fill the silence - talking about anything and everything. It was obvious that I felt a need to fill the silence. One day he said to me - You know, Christopher, you don't have to always talk. Its okay to sit here in silence." That was a foriegn concept to me. It was really hard - silence was uncomfortable.
Over the years I feel that I am better with silence. I am no longer uncomfortable with silence in a conversation. Rather it is learning to be silent in the sharing of my opinion or assessment of situations where I need growth.
I once read a proverb on the wrapper of one of those little chocolate candies; it said: Wisdom has two parts - 1)having a lot to say and 2)not saying it. So recently, I feel that God has been leading me towards wisdom (not mine, his). Not the wisdom of knowledge, but the wisdom of silence. I think this silence has two parts: 1) quieting my words so that I can be open to how God is moving in and around me; and 2) setting aside regular time in solitude quieting the world around me - no movies, music, tv or cell phone - by myself. I'll let you know how it goes.