“It seemed to him that he knew exactly what it felt like to sit in a room like this, in an armchair beside an open fire with your feet in the fender and a kettle on the hob, utterly alone, utterly secure with nobody watching you, no voice pursuing you, no sound except the singing of the kettle and the friendly ticking of the clock. … To do anything that suggested a taste for solitude, even to go for a walk by yourself, was always slightly dangerous. There was a word for it in Newspeak: ownlife, it was called, meaning individualism and eccentricity.”
–-George Orwell in Nineteen Eighty-four
“The ordinary, daily practice of silence
is a prophetic stance in our world of noise.
It is one of the greatest gifts we can offer the world.”
“Intentional silence serves as a necessary
and valuable counterweight
to a society filled
with thoughtless and excessive words.”
“Tremble and do not sin; when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent.” Psalm 4:4
Moving From the Head to the Heart
- Do you know what it feels like to “sit in a room … utterly alone … [with] no sound?” Do you seek out or avoid such experiences?
- In Orwell’s created world, to have your ownlife was considered “slightly dangerous.” Look at Scazzero’s quote again and consider why that would be.
- Do you make the experience of solitude and silence a priority in your life? Is it reflected in some plan or schedule? If not, what is the downside?
Abba, give me a longing for solitude and silence, so that I may learn to be “alert for a new voice sounding from beyond all human chatter.” (Nouwen)
The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day in less than 400 words. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest! – Bill (Psalm 90:14)