Recently I had the opportunity to go for a 5 mile run alone. I always pray when I run and after I finished telling God about what was happening in my life and asking for all of His guidance, I started to think maybe I should just listen to what God has to say to me. Well as you can tell by all the entries of my blog I have lots to say and have a hard time just listening. I can listen during conversations, lectures and people speaking but listening for a voice that is not audible… not so easy. However, I decided not to put my earphones from my IPod in my ears and instead run in silence. No talking to God, trying not to think about my schedule, trying not to question life or to think of new ideas for material. I would think those things out my system, so I did.
Then after 10 minutes of trying to clear my mind I tried to just concentrate on the sounds that surrounded me.
My footfalls echoed on the wet street as I passed an open field crickets chirped in unison, birds singing to each other up on a wire. A misty rain landed upon me, refreshing, light and breezy. The soft sound far off from the cars passing across the splattered streets. All the sounds separate yet together a humming noise. Noticing sounds and sites I never witnessed before on this running route I knew by heart or I thought I did until I ran it in the silence. The footfalls became more labor intensive as I noticed exactly how my body moved and I felt a little bored no one talking to me, I was not talking to anyone else. No music, no thoughts yet so much to soak in.
I was able to “meditate” in a state of silence for all of 12 minutes before I thought I can’t take it anymore. I put on my earphones and listened to Gypsy by Suzane Vega aahh. No longer alone in isolation. Yet isolated from the rest of the world in the music blocking the world about me out.
It was a great experiment for me. I learned that I could turn my thoughts off, I never thought that was even possible. Experiencing a peace that released the tension of schedules, needs, wants and responsibilities. Totally new and fresh was running in silence more aware of every creature and sound about me. I did not hear God’s voice speaking to me or did I?
Did I hear God’s voice in the nature as He blew the wind and mist softly upon me. Did I hear God’s voice in the sounds of the crickets and the birds songs? Did I hear God’s voice or just feel His comfort as He wrapped me in His embrace and I felt all my thoughts and worries release from me and His peace filled me. Did I feel God’s voice as He said “Recognize me in this silence, in this run, in your life and forget not that I am always here.” It was not an audible voice but I heard Him.
Find a time that you too can try to meditate in the silence. Not indoors, find a field around your house or at a park. Go alone. Walk a path or just through the woods first you must talk out all the things in your head, with moms that can take 30 minutes even if you don’t say it out loud. Talk out everything you can possibly think of. Then ready yourself for silence. It helps to repeat something for awhile “I will stay silent and listen” over and over again until you can actually do it. Then listen to all the sounds about you, try not to name them all but just hear them and take them in, purely listen without thinking so hard. Breathe in the air, feel your feet beneath you and just be.
Try it you will find an unbelievable peace and a closeness to God you would not think possible. I challenge you find a time in the next 2 days to do it. Let yourself go and listen God will speak to you, His voice will not be as you expect it but He will be known to you.