Christmas is not the time of year we typically experience silence. It is hectic and frenzied in its pace. Even when we try to cut out some of the activities that surround this most special holiday it seems we still do not have enough time. Silent Night. How long has it been since you sat in silence? I am not talking quiet…I mean silent, as in the absence of all sound. First of all, it is hard to do. For me I have to go outside, almost always to find this elusive commodity. My house has noise that lives here, and even when the noisemakers are not around, the machines hum. So, I go out…on the porch to sit, or I walk to the woods and find a rock on which to rest. One of my favorites is to lean back on our driveway and look at the stars in the darkness.
Getting away from sound is only the first obstacle however. Next comes the clamor of the mind. The biggest problems come rushing at you first with anxiety attached, followed by all the responsibilities and chores to which you should immediately attend. It suddenly seems that silencing the noise in your ears was a much easier task than quieting the pounding thoughts. I think these loud whispers of mind are the reason we are scared of silence, because if you get past the brainstorms, you are alone…completely. Heartbeat. Breathing. Silence. Why in the world would I choose to seek this out, especially at Christmas…the busiest season of all? Holy night.
In the stillness, the steadiness of your heartbeat becomes a sacred reminder of the gift of life. The foggy mist that surrounds you with each breath is an offering, which you cannot give unless God first gives it to you. Every movement is evidence that his love is exists, because you do. You are object of his affection. You are set apart for him alone.
When you are sitting in silence, it is then that you realize that you are not really alone at all. You are in fact, holy…only made so by his great gift. You are his reward and he is yours. In a moment of silence, the reality of this holy bond causes calm to rest on you. All is calm. This peace is worth the effort of the silence. It is his gift to you when you seek it.
I challenge you to find some time this Christmas to search for the silence amidst the clatter. The white blanket that covers the ground for us in the mountains is a perfect hiding place for peace. Sit and watch the flakes float down in hushed quiet and follow their example. Silent night. Holy night. All is calm.
Merry Christmas friends!
P.S. Just a tip for those of you with small children, you will probably need to remain upright, otherwise the late-night, early-morning will suck you into a deep “heavenly sleep” within minutes.