From the moment our first cry was heard when we left our mother’s womb to the last sound we will make as we exhale our final earthly breath, our sound has always let the world know we exist. My time of social media silence disciplined my life in an area I did not know needed discipline – my desire to make a sound. We all live a life of sound. It’s not evil or wrong. It just needs discipline from time-to-time in order to remain true and pure.
In my time of silence and separation, I would read things other people wrote that stirred my emotions. I wanted to share my thoughts and feelings. I felt drawn to respond to some of those stimulations with either a comment or introduce a line of thinking to help steer people toward another consideration.
There were times when almost unthinkingly, I reached for my keyboard only to remember my commitment to silence. The time away was like a room I was asked to enter and close the door behind me. The sounds of life and social interaction were taking place just outside the door of my self-imposed seclusion. I wanted in on those conversations. The door of my isolation continued to invite me to turn its knob and go back outside, but I resisted.
When I wrote the book, The Leadership Rock, I included a chapter titled, Margin Time. I shared how our lives need to have margins strategically positioned to buffer the bone-on-bone realities of life. These margins can take the form of silence, Sabbath or any planned interruption in the normal routine of life. These margins become spiritual buffers where we cushion ourselves to outside input so we can hear God more clearly. Silence and separation actually become a place of rest, revelation, and reset. Without these margins, too much of life will run together without a pause and clarity is lost.
As I now return to writing and posting content on this first day of 2019, I feel like someone who has tasted food for the first time after a prolonged fast. My writing palate has been cleansed. My thinking has leaned out. My spiritual garments fit better. My creative process has been refreshed. I am ready for a new season.
In the noise and busyness of life that will surely come your way in 2019, at some point, give God a sacred space of silence and separation. Create margins. Go there and listen. What you fear might be lost in your absence will be displaced by the release of something new. In that sacred space, fresh insights are awaiting your arrival. You will begin to hear things not easily recognized in the constant clamor of a connected life.