desert-monk1-266x300[1]During one period in my life while working at NREL, I decided to try silence on my one hour drive to work. The first few times I did it, I realized how much I depended on the radio preachers to keep me from really thinking about and mulling over my relationship with God as well as dealing with key challenges in my life. It is hard to be truly alone with yourself for an hour a day. No outside stimulus, no reading, no real sound… what a contrast to our world. I am continuing to slowly training my mind not to wander and some days are better than others. During my drives, some of the days were the best times with God that I’ve ever had… others were just frustrating. I’ve not been able to have those times much since I left NREL and I sort of miss it. But I’ll find ways to keep working at it.

The great people of faith that have gone before us valued solitude and silence. Why can’t it be a consistent part of my life? Maybe it’s our culture that values busyness… maybe it’s our upbringing that values productivity and worth based on performance… maybe it’s just fear in being alone with myself. I’m convinced that simplicity in life and living won’t come without solitude and silence… even if it’s only for a very brief time.  

“The Desert Fathers praise silence as the safest way to God.” Henri Nouwen, The Way of the Heart
How have you been able to incorporate silence into your days?