Losing the Busy Signal

My soul waits in silence for God only; from Him is my salvation. Psalm 62:1 NASB

Silence – Are you able to deal with silence? Can you actually sit perfectly still, calm your mind, stop the distractions on the outside and the inside, and hear the God of silence? Or do you find that as soon as you wish to set aside some time to clear the way with God your world’s interruptions, diversions and obligations heat up and soon you are miles away from that inner peace you so desperately sought?

Maybe you have learned the art of quiet. Maybe you are one of those practiced few who actually can rest in the inner tranquility of His care. Or maybe, when you think you’ve put aside all the really bothersome diversions, you discover a much more insidious problem—boredom. Amazingly, when we get past all that external stuff, we often find that life on the inside is boring. We are so attuned to living elevator-music existences that we are not at home at all without the constant subconscious buzz of unfocused survival. Perhaps here is our real dilemma. With effort we can put aside those hindrances to rest. With effort! But what do we do when we discover that our inner geography is colorless, bland and uninteresting. What have we become when the excitement of life is always attached to something other than our inner selves? If we are going to experience the silence of the truly caring Father, we will have to sit in the place of our boredom and deal with the emptiness we have allowed to seep into our unexamined personalities.

Why do we need to follow this path? Why not simply submerse ourselves in “holy” activity, good deeds, noble thoughts? Why not continue the pace of a life of virtue and avoid the distress of this discovery? Why? Because until we come to the place where we know that there is no one and nothing that can rescue me from inner despair and emptiness, we do not need God. I do not say, “We do not want God.” No, we may seek God in order to add justification to our self-occupation, to our moral standing and reciprocal praise. But that is not the same, is it? We only need God when nothing else will do.

“ . . . unless God comes I am lost, there is no hope, because I know that if I emerge out of this depth I will simply be back in the realm of delusion, of reflected life, but not real life.”[1]

“Very often we do not find sufficient intensity in our prayer, sufficient conviction, sufficient faith, because our despair is not deep enough.”[2]

Have you entered boredom on purpose?

Topical Index: silence, boredom, prayer, despair, Psalm 62:1

[1] Anthony Bloom, Beginning to Pray, p. 70.

[2] Ibid., p 72.