In this episode, Ilona and Justin talk about silence and solitude, breaking down how it shapes our relationship with God, our formation into Christlikeness, and our missional posture towards others in our lives. Ronald Rolheiser once quipped that “we’re distracting ourselves into spiritual oblivion,” so this discussion explores how silence and solitude provide an antidote to that distraction, and offers ways to start practicing silence today.
Ideas We Highlight:
- The battle for silence in a digital age and why we must proactively seek quiet spaces
- “Carving out time” for solitude is difficult, but if Jesus needed silence, then we do, too
- Silence and solitude isn’t just “me” time – it’s finding space to be with Jesus
- Opening quote from “I Used to be a Human Being” by Andrew Sullivan.
- The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer. Find it on Amazon.
- Celebration of Discipline by Richaed Foster. Find it on Amazon.
- An Invitation to Solitude and Silence: Experiencing God’s Transforming Presence by Ruth Haley Barton. Find it on Amazon.
- For more teaching and resources on silence and solitude, check out practicingtheway.org.
Begin where you are and take your next step!
- Take five minutes right now to practice silence. Set a timer, sit down or take a walk, and take some deep breaths. Close with a prayer of gratitude.
- As you start to build a more regular practice of silence/solitude, here are some suggestions. For more robust steps, read this resource.
- Pick a time and place that works for you, experimenting with what works. When it comes to time, for many, that’ll likely be the morning, but it might also be a lunch break or evening walk. For place, find somewhere as quiet and distraction free as possible.
- Set a goal. If you’ve never practiced silence/solitude, start with 5 minutes, a few days a week, and work your way up. Seek to increase the days per week and/or time per day you are able to spend in silence.
- During your time, take deep breaths, letting thoughts go as they come to mind. Consider using a breath prayer, like “Father, You are all I need,” to recenter. Notice God’s presence around you and in you. Close in a prayer of gratitude.
- If you’re new to this, resist the urge to judge the “success” or “failure” of your solitude. The “win” is showing up, so focus instead on being content to spend time in the presence of God.
If you haven’t yet, download the Rule for Life template to reflect on and implement some of the practices from this series.