Finding the Way of Silence
During my years as a high school Bible teacher and coach, I discovered this first-hand. I taught a basic manhood class to sophomores and juniors where we explored a number of themes, especially the critical issue of strength. To bring the point home about inner strength, I wanted them to experience it rather than talk about it, so I came up with an idea.
During class, I would put them on a school bus and take them to a wooded area of a nearby park. I gave them a Bible, a couple of verses, and some simple instructions: Go find a place in the woods by yourself and spend fifteen minutes in silence. When you hear the sound of the bus horn, come back.
It was a big risk. Think about releasing into the woods a bunch of young men (who had been cooped up in the classroom all day) with no supervision and few instructions. You can imagine your own horror stories. But none of them ever happened (except for one poor student who got lost!).
When we would gather back together, I would have them comment on the activity. I was always amazed at what I heard.
Some experienced a powerful inner peace amid the stresses of school life.
Some became aware of the sounds of nature as never before.
Some began attuning to their hearts, and still others felt the presence of God all around them.
Even years later, I still hear these former students comment about their experience of silence in the woods.
Something there marked them—something that built fortitude into their souls. Ironically, no one was talking to them or asking them to do anything. They were alone and still and quiet. They had entered the silence.
Men today live in a whirlwind of busyness, our souls choking on the constant harangue of noise. Our inner lives are enfeebled by the clutter of social media and enmeshed in the perpetual news headlines. Whatever outer strength a man may possess cannot overcome the weakness he feels in his interior self.
Imagine a sturdy house overrun with termites. You lean your weight on one of the well-crafted walls, only to find that it collapses on you. This is a good picture of so many men.
But you do not have to stay this way. You do not have to resign to this. There is a better way. There is the way of silence.
Here are four big payoffs for the man who chooses to enter silence each day:
Photo Credit: ©Pexels/Riccardo Bresciani