When I get into my car, the first thing I do is buckle my seatbelt. The second thing is switch on the radio. I do these things without even thinking. These are habits that are deeply engrained into my routine. Sometimes, however, I decide to drive in silence. Even though I’m the only one in the car and music would be a nice way to pass the time, I intentionally choose to spend time in silence.
When was the last time you spent more than a few minutes or even a few seconds in silence?
In his 2012 World Day of Communications Message, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI said, “In silence, we are better able to listen to and understand ourselves”
This is what compels me sometimes to drive to work in silence. I need mental space to freely explore my thoughts, my concerns and myself without the influence of media and technology.
Silence not only helps us understand ourselves better but developing a habit of silence helps us to truly hear another person, not only their words, but their heart.
Again, the wisdom of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. “By remaining silent we allow the other person to speak, to express him or herself. In this way, space is created for mutual listening, and deeper human relationships become possible.”
So I wonder — as many of us crave deeper human relationships and authentic communication, perhaps we can make more time for silence. Perhaps this silence will give us time to pray about who God has made us to be, what is our purpose and how we can strengthen our relationships through authentic communication.
Because a silent heart can hear God’s whisper.