The Purity in Silence

Why do we fear silence so much? 

As part of my university studies, I have to do readings, a lot of them I might add. I mean, I read a lot for recreation: Dickens, Hardy, Wilde, and Wharton are among my favourites — but to be forced to read a book on architectural theory is somewhat dull to me. There is this one book I am reading though, from a French author called Henri Bosco that gave me the idea for this weblog.

“There is nothing like silence to suggest a sense of unlimited space. Sounds lend color to space, and confer a sort of sound body upon it. But absence of sound leaves it quite pure and, in the silence, we are seized with the sensation of something vast and deep and boundless. It took complete hold of me and, for several moments, I was overwhelmed by the grandeur of this shadowy peace.” — Henri Bosco in “Malicroix”

One thing that really mystifies me is in church service that I have sat through, people always have to fill the Holy Communion with the noise of some sort. Whether it be the voice of a soloist, or the gentle strumming of a guitar. There is this almost fear of silence in the church service that might cause the rapture to occur or something like that. Yet, I think that Bosco has something insightful in what he expounds on about silence. There is something unlimited and so solitary within silence that takes and surrounds us.

Where the world defiles us with noise whether visually or aurally — daily we are struck with images which we cannot forget, news of earthquakes and the cries of despair, forest fires and the crackling sound of the American Dream. Being barraged with such noise, often leaves us indifferent in our lives. I don’t know, I for one, am absolutely sick of all the earthquake news of the past month. FFH in their song, “Listen” (parts of which I don’t totally agree with) puts it poignantly:

“Voices are everywhere, and they’re screaming at us: use me, buy me, believe me. We’ve got voices all over our culture: chat rooms, commercials, billboards, and bumper stickers, and they all want our immediate attention.”

The song goes on to expound on the personal nature of our relationship with God, compared to the disconnection of ourselves through media. But, anyway, there is so much we can do personally, but so little that would not become part of the “noise” of life. There is a fine fine line between being a voice in the thousands and the audience of one. Within this world, there is only so much we can accomplish without listening to the one voice which matters: God’s voice; After all, whatever we put our hands to is insufficient if it is not according to what God has willed us to do. It seems that silence often takes the backseat over reactions with the best intentions. in Exodus 14:14 it says the following:

“The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.”

The context being the Israelite nation had just left Egypt, and the Egyptians are suddenly chasing after them. They had just crossed the Red Sea, and they see the Egyptian army coming up close behind them, fear began to inset upon them. But what Moses tells the Israelite nation to be, is silent. There was no call to arms, to shed blood – but God would fight for their nation.

So often today I am like the Israelites – with the best intentions but without silence I don’t understand how small the situation is to God. I pray continually that my eyes would be open to the angels protecting and controlling every situation as in 2 Kings with Elisha and his servant. I pray that I would not become the noise, but I would be silent, so people may see the true expanse of an omnipotent God. I hope to be overwhelmed by the grandeur of this shadowy peace, that I would not forget my own futility and the power of Christ.

“Loneliness and solitude are not two things to be confused, because I spend my solitude with You” – Relient K

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Are Christians Blogging A Contradiction?

The goal of a professional blogger is quite simply to be popular on the internet.

 

More often than not, blogs are the means of which to get the end of making money through getting enough advertising revenue or directing people towards a book they’ve written. A trend I often see is to get popular through getting enough traffic onto your site by writing on popular topics and relating to the audience that they are directed towards. Abortion and homosexuality are both hot button topics which people are attracted like fruit flies to. Sarah Palin has built her whole political soapbox on these two principles, which are admittedly small in the larger scheme of things like running an economy.

Yet, the goal of a Christian “is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy him forever” as the Westminster Confession states. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says it all that “whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.” The Christian life is totally God-focused, and dependent on the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit within our lives. The difference is the focus is turned onto God, and the Holy Spirit as he works in us.

I understand there is a difference between amateur and professional blogging, but where exactly does the line get crossed? A professional has a success measured by popularity and views, but an amateur is only a voice that wants to be heard. The aspirations are the dividing factor, and I’ll let God judge the thoughts and attitudes of our hearts.

Too often we are easily entrapped by the attraction of money and fame on the internet, especially here on revelife and xanga, with the number of views openly counted. There is constantly a temptation to me to write on controversial topics because they garner more views, but God calls me back constantly to this place of writing what he wants me to write. It is so easy to march under the flag of God, but to be faithful to the cause is much more difficult. Similarly, it is easy to write about Christian topics, but to fully submit to God and let him write the words is much more difficult in my experience. The lyrics to the chorus of the song “Write The Words” from FFH describe exactly my thoughts:

“I don’t know what to say
That hasn’t already been said
I don’t know what to write
That hasn’t already been read
I don’t know what to play
That You haven’t already heard
So here’s my song, You write the words
Here’s my heart, You write the words”

The thought of having to write 6 posts a week consistently is difficult for me. There is so much that I don’t know, and so much that I think that should not be written down in a blog. I feel especially convicted when I think of the amount of time I spent writing blogs in proportion to how much time I spend praying that my words might be powerful. There is a self-centeredness rooted in the way that I blog, that I seek to change.

In many ways, it is a far cry from being led by God to write because some nights where I can churn out 3 posts without an issue. Other times I can just sit around and surf the web for hours with nothing jumping out, but I don’t actually waste my time doing that now that I’m back at school. Continually, I find myself where I have to come back and remember why I’m here blogging, and it is to glorify God and in everything I do.

Therefore, how can we reconcile, the God-centered life of a Christian with the money-centered demands as we traverse deeper and deeper into blogosphere? Exactly how compatible is it to attract people to a site compared to a Christian, who seeks God in all that he does? Is Christian blogging a oxymoron?