21 September 2006

completely contradictory

"We often overuse electronic gadgets for the same reason we spend innumerable hours shopping.
We do not want to be left alone with our thoughts...

We need to rediscover silence.

Says 14th century Christian mystic Meister Eckhart,
'nothing in all creation is so like God as silence.'

To rediscover silence, is to rediscover God."

-Diana Bulter Bass in Christian Century, 091906

Ironically, these words captivated me en route to New York City. Since reading them, however, no decibels of silence managed to penetrate my day. From animated cell phone conversations overheard on the subway to construction crews exchanging colorful words on the sidewalk, and much, much more, this city has much on offer, but silence does not top the "what did you do in nyc this week" list. I'm pretty confident I could claim that silence isn't even available here. Or at least, not in the neighborhoods I visited.

With that observed, I don't know if my soul could take living in a city of this magnitude. But for the raging extrovert in me, it's amazing how much this noise and activity draws me. How do I explain that contradiction?

photo credit: first-me, china, second-hildred, yosemite waterfall rocks. Do u see my "wee" nephew there midst the massive rocks?


beth said...

Miss you!

Gracie said...

aww. thanks. I'll be home soon. NYC would be more fun with you!!

Jewels said...

I think you're overwhelmed because it is all new - you would get used to the noises and hopefully be able to once again want to be still before God.
Dallas Willard said that solitude & silence are a powerful means to grace which goes along here with the theme of your blog, right? These are disciplines that we have to choose because God doesn't compete for our attention. And so, we have to intentionally "unplug" ourselves from the circuits of sin.

Hope you are having fun - be quiet when you get back to quiet GR!

White Rabbit said...

i use to crave distraction unconsiously. Now, more and more, i become aware of my attempts to keep myself distracted. i think we try to find peace or escape in distraction, yet it is fleeting. It is scary to believe that we can find peace and calm in the presence of God and silence. Perhaps we're afraid our own voices will become louder as we find it difficult to keep our attention on God in the quiet.

Gracie said...

Jewels-I am a dw fan so i definitely appreciate the reflection. I like the image of intentionally unplugging.
unfortunately i don't think newness can't explain my feelings b/c i've been in nyc several other times. but, it HAS been several years.
White rabbit, i can't believe with the zillion comments on your latest post that you take time to comment here. thanks!!!
i too, can pinpoint my attempts to stay distracted although i don't really want to pinpoint the root. i am also finding that the more silence i permit, or that i seek, the less i hear my own voice and the more i hear God. sometimes that is frightening. but it also helps me to get to the truest part of who i am.

cindy said...

Seeing your wee nephew really puts God's creation in perspective, doesn't it?

jordan said...

Reminds me of Someone who calls us to rest--something about in quietness and rest is our salvation.