It was reported in our local news; a teenager was killed by an express train traveling at 70 m.p.h. He did not get off at his normal school bus stop. He likely had his back to the train as he crossed the tracks, and he had earphones in his ears. He probably didn’t hear the approaching danger, and now his parents live with what-ifs.
I sometimes wonder whether we have way too much noise in our lives. If we choose, we can live life without ever having a quiet moment. Maybe the noise of our busy technological lives drowns out approaching spiritual danger or at least the questions that might arise if only we were still.
Kierkegaard said that if he were a doctor and were allowed to prescribe just one remedy for all the ills of the modern world, he would prescribe silence. For even if the Word of God were proclaimed, it would not be heard or heeded, for there is too much noise and busyness in our world. “Therefore, create silence.”*
What do I do with silence? It can be a time to be honest with ourselves (and God) about what is going on inside. What do I want? Where am I struggling and failing? What brings contentment? It can be a time to think about the big questions of life. Do I believe in God? Is their purpose and meaning to life? What should I do next? It can be a time to pray. It can be a time to listen to God’s word in the Bible. Silence may give us ears to hear the most important matters which are so easily drowned out by the noise of lesser things.
*Peter Kreeft, Christianity for Modern Pagans, p. 35.