That is the chorus to the song with the same title by The Strokes
Silence is important. The first chapter of Crazy Love is called “Stop Praying”. The whole chapter is about God, but before you read about how he hung 350 trillion galaxies in the sky and engineered 228 muscles in a caterpillar’s head, about him being holy, eternal, all-knowing, and all-powerful, about John and Isaiah seeing him and using imagery like jewels and storms and royalty to convey what they saw, you read about how you should stop talk talk talking at God and give yourself some time to think about just who it is you are talking to.
I’ve been thinking about silence for a few weeks now. At our Concert of Prayer at the end of the Week of Prayer, there were three distinct modes: singing, speaking, and silence. We sing every week and we pray together on many occasions, but the silence was something fresh. It was invigorating to shut my mouth, close my notebook (I like to journal+pray), dial down my brain, and just sit in silence.
All I could hear was the wind outside, activity going on above me, beyond me, that I could not control or predict. I realized that I don’t spend much of my life in awe of God, but that I should. I go about my business, doing the things that make up my life, making plans, scratching items off lists, left foot, right foot, and I don’t find myself amazed by a God I cannot control or predict.
Too much activity without time to sit and think about who God is.
Since then, we spent time in silence at a gathering, I spent a drive home from work in silence, and our community group waited in silence before praying together this week. I’m trying to be intentional about quieting life down and spending time in awe of God.
Eric Maisel, creativity coach
I’m a curious person, somewhat like a sponge always looking for an ocean to soak up.
To be a good (i.e., effective, attentive, sane) husband, father, homeowner, and pastor, I’ve had to learn the difference between interests (soccer! fantasy football! giant squid! writing short stories! sports uniforms! reading lots of books!) and passions.
I’m highly intriguable, but I’m learning to let some things go, despite how potentially interesting they are, because I know they will be a time drain on the things that should define my life.
I can’t speak for the church in other countries, but here, sometimes it’s tired or achy or stuck in its ways, or it is like two old women bickering or a young woman complaining about another young woman. There is far too much of that going on.
I know I’m someone who planted a church and who spends time and energy helping to lead a church, but I love the church. Not just the Church, but my church as in the people who show up at my house or watch my kids or invite us out to dinner, the people who pray for us and with us, the people who ask questions and give encouragement and hope along with us that we can do what God would have us do.
In the preface to Crazy Love, Francis Chan says that the book “isn’t another book written to bash churches.” I read that last night while making some notes for community group. One of the ideas we’ll have to keep in mind if reading this book is going to do us any good is that we can’t do anything about the church in America, but we can look at our own lives as a part of our own church.
If we see a need for change, that’s where change can happen. I’m excited about this because Second Mile started out of a desire to be a healthy, lively, vibrant expression of the body of Christ. It started because we saw how the young bride looked like an old woman, and we wanted to do something about that, and reading this book is a small part of that for our community group.
Because I spent last year pondering the path of my feet and that led me to, among other things, here. Because I’m a pastor but not the kind that has a title, an office, and a reserved parking space. Because I want to be sharp. Because I see the gospel and theology everywhere. Because three of my five strengths involve using my brain like a rock tumbler. Because I bought dark-rimmed glasses and they came with a free blog. Because I went to a conference in Minnesota awhile back and saw a book with an inspiring title. Because I try to live as though life is an adventure. Because I believe I should practice what I teach. Because I prayed a few years ago that God would bring out the particular boldness that he put in me. Because pretty much everything that I love about my life has nothing to do with being paid.