little to say

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…

James 1

At work there are jobs in which I am right next to a coworker strapping books as they come out. More than half the time we are face to face, which lends itself to conversation.

I am all for conversation and I’ve found some good, edifying ones in those places, sometimes in answer to prayer. On the other hand I may have nothing much to say.

Years back a fellow worker told me that I would make a good monk. We were friends and could easily talk an entire time of working between breaks, two hours or more. But I could just as easily be quiet the entire time. It can seem strange and even strained in our culture, not to mention monotonous. But there’s something to say for silence. There is surely a time to speak, as well as a time to be silent (Ecclesiastes 3). But we would surely have something better to say, as a rule, if we would speak less and listen more. And simply be silent.

I am questioning noise, even in talk, more and more as I get older. And valuing silence more and more. Not as an end in itself, but to get us to a good end. In and through Jesus.


2 comments on “little to say

  1. nmpreach says:

    “I am questioning noise, even in talk…”

    I love that! I’m not sure I would be a good monk. In recent months, God has spoken to me time and again about listening more. I’m currently reading Henri Nouwen’s “Spiritual Direction.” Nouwen speaks of what he calls a sacred space – a place where God speaks and we simply listen. That’s where I want to be.

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