One night in college, my Bible study leader drove me and the rest of the guys in our group up a hill overlooking the city of Syracuse, New York. He parked the car and the four of us climbed out onto the grassy field.
“Here are the rules,” Nick said. “No speaking out loud, no singing out loud. I don’t want you to say or pray anything out loud. Everybody split up, and spend some quiet time alone with God. We’ll meet back together in 30 minutes.”
It was weird. I am a very talkative person; I even pray out loud when I am totally alone with God. This was going to be a challenge. The night air was cold enough to rule out nodding off to sleep. But to be totally quiet, for 30 minutes?
Nick was making a point. What he called the “discipline of silence” has been a constant reminder to me since, to listen to God, instead of always talking to Him.
He wants to hear our concerns. He wants to hear our praises. He wants to hear our confessions. But He wants us to stop talking long enough to listen to Him, too.
Make tonight a Silent Night. Or a silent day. Just spend some time alone, in quiet, before God. Don’t bring along a book – not even the Bible this time. Come as you are. And listen.