Learn to Be Silent

forest treesAs you might imagine, when I taught elementary-aged students, I spent a lot of time talking. A lot of time. Once I stepped out of the classroom, one of the biggest transitions I needed to make was to learn to be silent.

I’m not a telephone person. I don’t like spending time in long conversations on the phone. I just don’t. So the minute Pilot walked in our front door after work each weekday afternoon, I talked non-stop, asking him about the minutiae of his day.

I longed to hear another person’s voice. I needed another person to hear my voice. Through the years I’ve learned to temper that impulse, so it isn’t as bad these days.

To fill in the absence of human conversation, during my day I talked to the inanimate things around me. Of course there were the dogs. I talked to them all day long. I talked to the computer when it refused to perform as I commanded. I talked – well, more like yelled – to the crazy drivers I encountered on the road.

Hey. I’m a fiction writer. We fiction writers talk to the fictitious characters in the books we’re writing all the time. We work out scenarios by talking through them. Depending on the genre we write, the search histories on our computers could prove quite interesting.

Ask any of us. You’ll see it’s true.

But in all of this, one thing I learned is to sit in silence before God and listen to the sounds of his creation. I marvel at the fact God allows us to be a part of that  creation. Don’t you?

Creation doesn’t need to use words to display God’s glory. It doesn’t matter where we live or the time of day, creation tells a story. It tells the story of a Creator God, Elohim, who spoke the world into being. All we have to do is learn to be silent to hear it.

Creation tells of an All-Powerful, Omnipotent God who loves us enough to speak to us through his creation. If only we will pause long enough from our busy life, learn to be silent, and listen.

What are the ways you listen to God in the silence of his creation?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

The heavens are telling the glory of God; they are a marvelous display of his craftsmanship. Day and night they keep on telling about God. Without a sound or word, silent in the skies, their message reaches out to all the world. The sun lives in the heavens where God placed it and moves out across the skies as radiant as a bridegroom going to his wedding, or as joyous as an athlete looking forward to a race! The sun crosses the heavens from end to end, and nothing can hide from its heat. Psalm 19:1-6 (TLB)

You can find my July Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Photo by Sebastian Unrau on Unsplash

Be Overwhelmed

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

When was the last time something caught your breath and overwhelmed you? Hopefully, it was in a good way, not in a devastating manner.

 Dictionary.com defines overwhelmed like this:

  • to overcome completely in mind or feeling:
    overwhelmed by remorse.
  • to overpower or overcome, especially with superior forces; destroy; crush:
    Roman troops were overwhelmed by barbarians.
  • to cover or bury beneath a mass of something, as floodwaters, debris, or an avalanche; submerge:
    Lava from erupting Vesuvius overwhelmed the city of Pompeii.
  • to load, heap, treat, or address with an overpowering or excessive amount of anything:
    a child overwhelmed with presents; to overwhelm someone with questions.
  • to overthrow.

Pilot and I recently returned from the Colorado Rockies where I attended the Colorado Christian Writers Conference.

Our usual route takes us through Oklahoma and Kansas, and at the first sight of the Rockies rising in the distance above the Kansas plains I become overwhelmed in a good way. This year, however, tornadoes and devastating storms altered our route and we drove  through New Mexico.

This route took us past the Capulin Volcano National Monument at sunset, and was worth the alternate drive.

Many times I’ve been overwhelmed.

Standing beneath the towering California Sequoias overwhelmed me.

Waking up and staring at the Bavarian Alps overwhelmed me.

Walking the steps of the Acropolis in Athens overwhelmed me.

Wandering the maze of Knossos on the isle of Crete overwhelmed me.

Praying inside Cologne’s Dom overwhelmed me.

Snorkeling in Mexico as fish half my size swam past overwhelmed me.

The lift and fall of hawk’s wings overwhelms me.

Feeding a momma bison as her baby nursed beneath her overwhelmed me.

The brilliant colors of sunsets and sunrises.

Holding my newborn child overwhelmed me.

We can choose to look for all that God has done in the world around us and be overwhelmed by his goodness, or we can choose to ignore it, believing it to be an everyday common place occurrence.

I wonder if those who look out their window every morning and see the mountains rise before them take those mountains for granted.

Or when a herd of elk stroll past, even notice.

I wonder if those of us redeemed by the shed blood of Jesus our Savior ever take his sacrifice for granted.

You know, we’ve been in church all our lives. It’s common place. Something we do. Why get overwhelmed by that?

Friend, I’ll tell you why we need to be overwhelmed. Jesus didn’t have to do it. We didn’t deserve for Jesus to take our sins upon his perfect sinless self, pay the debt we owed but could never pay so we wouldn’t have to.

That is why we need to be overwhelmed by his love, grace, forgiveness and mercy and the work of his hands. Now and forever. We need to delight ourselves in the things of the LORD. Find pleasure and enjoyment in them.

As part of God’s creation we should feel pleasure in our enjoyment of what he has done.

What overwhelms you?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below. If you think others would appreciate reading this please share it through the social media buttons.

 Be delighted with the Lord. Then he will give you all your heart’s desires. Psalm 37:4

I wish you well.

Sandy

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