The discipline of silence and solitude is God’s gift to us. It is not our time to come in with our agendas. It is his time to allow us to gear down.
To put it bluntly for pastors, it is a time that is needed. We talk too much. There are times we need the Spirit to say to us, “Sit down and shut up!”
Annual silent retreats are becoming a needed rhythm for me. I get at least 48 hours away, turn everything off, and embrace the silence. It is God’s time to fairly shout in my spiritual ears. Over the years I have learned to go into this time with as few things as possible. This year it was as Pacem in Terris, which has simple hermitages. The hermitage has no electricity or running water. Propane stove, propane heat. Propane lamp. Candles. A bed, a rocking chair, an altar. A wonderful screened in porch with a chair.
I don’t come with books to read. This year it was the instruction from the Spirit to read 1 John and pray. Just wait. Let the Spirit lead to the next thing. To be honest, it’s a fast 48 hours.
I am thankful for the time away and for the gift of silence. The Lord certainly was NOT silent in that time!
4 thoughts on “The Gift of Silence”
I never thought I’d be that pastor but I have to be honest and say I need this but I really dont know how and when I will get the time.
Would there be any retreat centers near you? You might look those up. Going in prepared is key. Henri Nouwen’s book, “The Way of the Heart” is helpful.
We have them near us (a few) time is the difficulty. For a few years I have gone to a jesuit retreat centre a few hours a way but I was the only minister who went in the end (from our denom) and they canned them.
Who canned who?
Time is so key. I highly recommend being prepared either through reading or a spiritual director, then going for at least 48 hours. The first 24 hours are full of thoughts and junk. Then, the Lord shows up.