Today I’m the black sheep in Five Minute Friday, a writing community that freewrites for five minutes on a prompt. No editing. (It’s a terrific launching point, but I’m a total rule-breaker! I freewrote for about twenty minutes and then edited.) Today’s prompt: Silence.
In silence – that’s typically how I write. Not today. I’m sitting in a back booth of Panera with an unlidded steaming tea and my laptop, tapping at keys like someone posing as a real writer. (Wait, Halloween’s already over…)
Music plays through speakers, persons chat in booths nearby, and light foot traffic passes. It’s between breakfast and lunch – a quiet lull, relatively speaking. A Panera worker pauses and looks my way,
“Well, how we doin’ in the boonies?”
I smile and wonder how to respond. I decide on a safe, “Good.” He’s satisfied and jaunts on his way.
I’ve been wracking my brain for something, anything about pondering “silence.” The morning I received the word prompt, it was silent. My husband had left for work and the kids were playing outside in a hushed world dusted lightly with snow. It must have been enough to absorb normal traffic noise.
As I reached for a coffee mug, I saw one of my favorites with Psalm 46:10, “Be still and know I am God.” I noticed, for the first time, it did not say, “Be silent and know I am God.” But then – nothing. (Maybe I needed more coffee.)
But multiple cups of coffee and tea later, nothing profound has surfaced regarding thoughts about silence. So that’s my takeaway.
Silence and profoundness are not equal. Silence might be the right answer to keep me from looking like an ignorant fool, but sometimes it’s worth the risk for a higher cause. And while I was convinced I needed silence to hear my own thoughts – maybe that’s not true.
What new thing do you need to struggle through to examine a long-held belief? How could you be limiting the adventure God might want to take you on? Will you give yourself permission to be in whatever stage you’re in – whether noisy or silent – and experiment to see where it takes you?
Let me know in the comments your thoughts on silence or the lack thereof!