Tuesday night I spoke with about 40 men on the topic of being spiritual leaders of their families. Gathered in the taproom at Oak Highlands Brewery, we shared introductions, our own stories, and a pint or two. And I shared with them a lesson I’ve been learning for years that applies to leadership of any kind. More importantly, it applies to our relationship with God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. And that lesson is cultivating quiet.
I told them, “cultivate quiet because so much of what you do right now - really good stuff - is not quiet. Our culture has us constantly wired, constantly connected, and we desperately need to create space. Quiet and stillness is the birthplace of prayer. And prayer is the vehicle of your relationship to God."
Lately I’ve noticed my own need for space. Yes, we all need our personal space and can feel hemmed-in if it’s transgressed in some way. But we also need mental space, to be alone with our thoughts, to clear our heads. And it’s in these moments, when we calm and quiet ourselves "like a weaned child with its mother,” that a blank canvas is unveiled in our heart and mind and we can hear God speak perhaps more clearly than before.
The words of Scripture suddenly reverberate without the constrictions of our own expectations. The prayers we utter seem to have laser precision and divine focus. The songs we sang on Sunday suddenly echo in our ears, and we find ourselves singing along. This doesn’t always happen, but abiding in stillness and quiet conditions our souls for the next time and the next time.
In this season of Easter, don’t forget this discipline of quiet. And may the resurrected Christ, the Good Shepherd whose voice we know, speak powerfully and resurrect those dead places in us.