I’ve never been able to appreciate silence as much as I wished I could.
Last week, I spent way too much of my time reading news, refreshing my twitter feed, listening to NPR and the talking heads on the news networks. I blame the overwhelming curiosity on journalism classes and my career choice. With those two comes the need to know every last detail, make connections between small details to reveal a larger story and share what is found to be newsworthy.
At some point, it becomes overwhelming.
Wednesday night after my attempts to clear my head with an evening run through my quiet neighborhood streets, I found myself in bed, unable to sleep, and in a wrestling match with the many pillows. I turned my head to find the hand-made rope rosary I’d wrapped around my wrists for comfort and decided that if I could not sleep, I’d just pray a Chaplet of Divine Mercy and hope to drift off somewhere in the middle of it.
And so I did. And with it came the most inexplicable sense of peace I’d felt since the beginning of the week.
I’d been so inundated with blogs, yelling advisers and specialists on CNN and FOX, speculation and my own well intentioned curiosity that I’d failed to cling to the one thing that could bring me peace – hearing God’s voice in the silence.
But how can we yearn to hear God’s voice if we’re stuck with a constant barrage of noise, distractions and anxiety? We have to find time to carve out some silence and peace in our days sans the radio, podcasts, distractions and other noise fillers.
This past Sundays’ Gospel reading reminds us that we are like sheep who yearn to follow our Shepard’s voice. We can hear God’s voice in our hearts, yet must be disciplined to be able to recognize his voice amongst the worries of life, distractions and noise. His path to peace is unlike anything we can try to find on our own. After all, that sense of peace I felt while praying in the early hours of the morning wasn’t so inexplicable, it was God’s love and comfort.
So as the world slowly begins to heal and life goes back to its sense of normal, take some time this week to be silent, to search for God’s voice within your heart and find that peace that he alone can grant us.
There’s nothing else like it.