The world is a noisy place. Which means it’s easy for our minds, hearts, and lives to become noisy places as well — not places for finding God in silence. We wake up with long lists to accomplish, and are constantly responding to the demands of work, family, church, and whatever else we’ve committed to. And it’s not that these things are bad, but if we’re not careful, these things can crowd out the deeper, more important ways of living and communing with God.
Like Elijah, standing on the mountain waiting to be overwhelmed by the power of God, we often wait for dramatic life changes or epiphanies to get our attention. We are waiting for the metaphorical violent wind, the earthquake, the fire. But we don’t have to wait to find the voice of God. We can find it in the everyday if we seek out that “light silent sound” in the quiet corners of our daily existence.
A Lesson from Pilgrimage
There’s a lot of hype going into a pilgrimage. International travel, sightseeing, new cultures and cities, all make for a lot of excitement. As they should! Pilgrimage is exciting — we even talk about it as a “mountaintop” experience. But if we adopt this idea of God being present in those still, quiet moments, we can enter into a fuller, more meaningful pilgrimage experience.
It’s one of the things that makes pilgrimage different from tourist travel. After you visit St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem, or Lourdes in France you have a unique opportunity. An opportunity to not just say “I saw it” but to enter into a quiet, spiritual moment of reflection. And it’s there in the silence that you are most likely to find God. Away from your day-to-day life, from distractions, and in the middle of a transformative experience, you’ll be rewarded in amazing ways for taking the time to listen to that quiet voice.
3 Ways of Finding God in Silence
Listening to God’s quiet voice isn’t a single event. It’s a lifelong journey that we can take in small ways every day. Here are three ways you incorporate quiet listening throughout your day.
1. Take a breather.
Sometimes, even just a few seconds of quiet can be enough to lift our minds and hearts. Start by taking just a few deep breaths to invite calm into the moment. Take a little time to appreciate something that God has done for you, pray for somebody, or reflect on something you read recently. It doesn’t need to be long or complicated, just the fact that you are doing it makes a big difference.
2. Carve out ten minutes in the morning or evening.
Life is hectic, but the more hectic it is, the more important setting aside time is for silence. Set a timer and commit that time for prayer, meditation, and contemplation. As you continue the practice you’ll find that not only does it get easier, but that you won’t want to go without it. And soon, this resetting of your soul and conversation with God will start to affect your entire day.
3. Incorporate silence into events and activities
Silence doesn’t have to be separate from whatever you’re doing, you can make intentional time for it. You can add 5 to 10 minutes of silent prayer and reflection to your small group or family time. Go on a walk and turn off the music or podcast. Find a quiet spot to eat your lunch during the workday. Once you start looking, you’ll find that opportunities abound.
At Verso, we’re doing our part to help people find God in silence by crafting international pilgrimages that allow plenty of time to breath, reflect, and sit with the moment. Discover more about how we see pilgrimage or look through our many departures. Wherever you go, we hope you’ll find both the mountaintop experiences and the presence of God in that “light silent sound.”