Wednesday, April 29, 2009


"Detachment is the word used in spiritual traditions to describe freedom of desire. Not freedom from desire, but freedom of desire . . . An authentic spiritual understanding of detachment devalues neither desire nor the objects of desire. Instead, it 'aims at correcting one’s own anxious grasping in order to free oneself for committed relationship to God.' According to Meister Eckhart, 'detachment enkindles the heart, awakens the spirit, stimulates our longings, and shows us where God is.' With an awakened heart, we turn and face the road ahead, knowing that no one can take the trip for us, nor can anyone plan our way." -John Eldridge

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Revisiting Silence

Entering into moments of silence is an incomparable benefit to my spirit. It’s amazing how often this truth eludes me, however. I let the pace of life swindle me of moments that could be spent in simple stillness. Any time that is unaccounted for is quickly allocated to meaningless, but often necessary tasks. But the silence beckons me when I neglect it for too long; it always has.
I found a few minutes to breathe in the crisp spring air early this morning with a cup of coffee. The silence immediately caused my spirit to awaken after lying dormant for a few days, causing silent prayer to rise from my heart like the morning mist over the field behind my house. Suddenly, I could inhale and exhale, long and slow, after days of quick, shallow breathes.

What instills in us this natural aversion to silence? Why do we often fear the quiet? I think it could have something to do with man’s fear of obscurity. Insignificance and anonymity have become some of the greatest worries of Western civilization. Most everyone feels, whether they admit it or not, that they have some great gift or trait that will one day surface and thrust them into the spotlight, and they’ll have to “humbly” accept the burden of their own fame. (Unfortunately, I think this is the unspoken dream of pastors and worship leaders across the country.) But Isaiah says that the result of righteousness is quietness and confidence (i.e. trust), not pride and popularity. If I am silent and still before God, I am not striving to be something other than myself. I’m forced to exist as I am in my true state; a servant to the Master. Moments spent in silence often strip us of our own narcissistic sense of self-importance and remind us that we are just a tiny granule in a very large and complex creation. May silence teach us, and give a renewed clarity to the voice of our Master.