Friday, February 09, 2007

The Case for Quiet

Today, Skye Jethani, on the blog Out of Ur, posted some insights on what he called “the quiet moments of inspiration.”

In our lives, there are often too few moments of quiet. Everywhere we go, we are surrounded by noise and distraction. We are such slaves to cell phones and Blackberries that silence is often disquieting. Many of us avoid quiet because we cannot relate to it. And we don’t even know what we are missing. What great things could God prompt us to do if He could only get our attention.

Would Moses have even seen the bush burning or heard God call his name if he’d been concentrating on his DVD player in the wilderness?

Would David have written the Psalms if he’d spent his days listening to his IPod while tending sheep, instead of listening to God?

The writers of our greatest hymns wrote out of full hearts, not full ears. And some of their most beautiful songs speak of the quiet times when God spoke to them. They are intensely personal.

Good music certainly should have a place in our lives, but our deepest fellowship with God doesn’t need auditory or visual enhancement to make it happen.

We are too willing, I think, to depend on surrogates in place of genuine experience in corporate worship, too. Music, art and drama in a worship setting are just an imitation of the reality of God Himself. They are valid only when they are expressions of what has already taken place internally. Otherwise they are only noisy entertainment.

Many of us have become spiritual forgers, turning out counterfeit worship instead of giving God time to accomplish the real thing. We come together expecting to be sung at and entertained, not to listen quietly for God to speak—to actually have Him confront us. Few of us will hear Him speak from the burning bush when we are listening for nothing more than drums or tambourines or pipe organs to give us the cue to begin to worship.

If we are to present to our God authentic worship, personally or corporately, we need to make quiet a priority—not a novelty or a threat. David wrote, “Be still, and know that I am God…”

How ironic if God had to tell His people that again…after they’d just choreographed the perfect worship service.


Geoff Baggett said...

Great thoughts ...

I often wonder if the I-Pods that fill my kids' ears are dulling their spirits as well as their brains.

I fear that we, as a society and as the church today, no longer really know how to be still and quiet before God. Sometimes I think we need to spend more time by ourselves ... but, again, we're not very goo ad that, either, are we?

PS - How about enabling anonymous so I can log on in wordpress instead of my old blogger account? :)

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