Integrated Life: Silence

         This year we at Journey will be exploring what it means to "live an integrated life." Webster defines integrate as, "to form, coordinate, or blend into a functioning or unified whole."  Therefore, an integrated life is one that coordinates or blends all its parts (even that which we would label as "bad, ugly or unwanted") into a functioning or unified whole.   This past Sunday Sean talked about the practice of silence as a key to living an integrated life.  Luke talks about Jesus frequently going away to lonely, deserted places to pray (Luke 5:16).  Jesus valued the quiet, lonely places.  It was there He connected with the Father.  Though we don't know exactly what transpired during those times alone with the Father, what we do see is that Jesus emerged with purpose, clarity, and strength to walk the journey before him (Luke 4:14, Matt. 26:36..., Mark 1:35-39, etc.).  
       The spiritual practice of silence is more than simply not speaking- which is, in its own right, a difficult task.  Spiritual silence is about stilling the mind.  Our minds are so addicted to running internal monologs and plans that to still them is a monumental feat requiring a lifetime of practice and the willing help of God.  In the face of such a daunting task, one wonders why anyone would want to practice silence?  The reality is that, for those who have tasted the fruits of silence, there is nothing that can compare.  The richness and depth of relationship with God, self, and others that develop through the discipline of silence is worth every discomfort that may be required to still the mind.  The still mind is an integrated mind, accepting of all parts.  Even the parts that carry on the monologs or endless plans are accepted.  They, however, are asked to play in the background and aren't clung to as reality.  The focus and integral reality rather becomes the love and presence of God.  Psalm 46:10 says "be still and know that I am God." The God that is known by the still mind is the One that speaks volumes in the silence, tenderly whispers to aching hearts holding each and every tear, soothes the most tormented beasts in the soul, and shouts for joy as we experience our belovedness at the very core of our being.  

Reflect this week:
Take 5 minutes or more to reflectively read
Be still and know that I am God
Be still and know that I am
Be still and know
Be still

By Babs May-Clark