For Lent this year I decided to give up watching TV, Movies or Netflix. I thought these things distracted me too much from praying, reading or just general rest.
In the first week since starting to fast, I have come to experience silence in a new way. Silence comes as such a shock to my system. I go all day at 110% without rest. I work in the Financial Markets where every second could cost or make my firm money. There is such a culture of rush, even in the small things we do. It can be very stressful and it’s often hard to get out of this mode when I get home. One of the harder things I have to do is just learn to relax and slow down.
Silence has a way of imposing this slowness on us, for better or worse. In my time of silence, I have spent more time reading spiritual works. The first of which was “Joy of the Gospel” by Pope Francis. I stumbled across a line that really spoke to me, that I have been meditating on all day. Pope Francis is quoting the Jesuit Saint Peter Fabre:
“Time is God’s messenger”
I think this line is easier understood in juxtaposition with silence.
In our lives, we often want things. We want to know our vocation, we want to have friends, we want that job, we want to buy that house in our dream neighborhood. We often can set out on a path in pursuit of those goods without really reflecting on God’s will for us. We forget that it is only in silence that we can hear God’s voice. I doubt Mary was listening to her iPod or watching Netflix when the Angel Gabriel came to her.
God speaks to us in time. In the right time, God reveals things to us. We must learn to wait patiently like Mary in Nazareth for God to make known his plans. “Time is God’s messenger”.
I absolutely hate this, beacuse I am not a patient man. I want answers. I want things done now! Why? Because I am not accustomed to silence. I have not learned to sit and wait. I go-g0-g0, but never stop and rest. It’s so much easier to let God do His work while we wait. That’s they way of Mary. Letting the Holy Spirit work while we ponder the Word in our hearts.
We need to give ourselves more time for true rest in the Lord by spending more time in silence. Go for a walk. Drive to work without music. Give up watching Netflix for a night. You will hear the Lord’s voice, I promise.