I'm half way through day 6 of my 40 day Lenten journey of radio silence. As I've been driving around running errands, heading to appointments and running my kids to and fro, I've been struck by the power of silence. Here's what I've realized in just the last 6 days.
Silence provides perspective. We've all been there before, completely raging over something that at the moment seems huge and impossibly outrageous. Go ahead and fill in the blank for whatever you've recently found yourself raging about.
Insert rage topic here: _______________________________
What you've probably realized is that after a few minutes, especially a few silent minutes, what just moments ago seemed so worthy of our rage starts to appear more reasonable. Maybe it takes longer than just a few minutes, but you get the idea. Silence offers our brains a chance to catch up with our emotions. People with lots of letters after their names could probably tell you what that's called but I call it, "The Silent Treatment". Now I know that the term "Silent Treatment" is already taken and means something different, but for our purposes, let's redefine it. We could all stand to give our rage a little bit of the "Silent Treatment" from time to time.
The "Silent Treatment" allows us to pump the breaks on the rehearsal that's going on in our brains. We've all done it before, we continue to rehearse over and over in our minds the injustice that we feel has occurred. We work ourselves up into a frenzy before we've allowed some sanity to seep into our brains.
The "Silent Treatment" allows our brains to catch a little bit of that, "still small voice" that has been getting drowned out in our rage. Our response of rage and anger does not match how the Scripture calls us to respond.
James 1:19 says, "Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry."
I know, it's tough. Over the last few days, my car has been a rollercoaster ride of emotions, but it works. Put this idea to the test. Be quiet. Allow your brain to catch up to your emotions and give the Holy Spirit an opportunity to get a word in edgewise.
Be encouraged and keep moving forward.