Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Being quiet

I’m quite a loudperson.  I don’t usually need a microphone to be heard in a room, I’m confident to speak to several or few (though I struggle to mingle in a crowd), and I usually have thought through (or can think through quickly) common subjects and discussion topics.  I like to think, enjoy a good debate (political, social or theological), engage with opinionated people who are iron to my iron regardless of view and I ask lots of questions and appreciate the answers.

I find being quiet really hard.  Listening for the still small voice is easier in the quiet than in the noise of an active mind. For me, to be quiet takes extraordinary amounts of effort and patience, and usually people who know me ask ‘what’s wrong’ because their perception is that it’s abnormal (for me).

All followers of Christ are charged with communicating the gospel of Christ, and living a life which displays his radiant glory (words & actions) yet also require humble service and quiet obedience. This dynamic is interesting to present when humble, quiet, obedient, service is by definition almost unnoticed and is certainly obfuscated by verbal communication and demonstrable conviction. I wonder about where blogging fits into the mix.  In many ways it’s a loud activity, communicating to any who stumble upon my musings, and perhaps it gives a glimpse into my heart or head for those with an eye to delve behind the words to the motivation for them.  But is the still small voice evident in the words? is it actually helpful to any cause? Is it quiet, humble, obedience too?

And what of the struggles with my marriage? Surely a man must first lead his household well? – Yet, even when that leading isn’t going to primary plan, does that mean for that season we’re totally useless to God, lest we become hypocrites, believing one thing and doing another?   If I can lose the way here where I have spent most effort, and invested so heavily, isn’t it all the more possible to lose the way in other areas? Shouldn’t that cause me to be silent for now?  - but if a gift is given surely it is to be used – not left unexercised?  It seems to me that if God is the same, yesterday today forever, and if his primary calling to us remains unchanged, and if we’re to be honest with each other as we do life together, then struggles alone do not disqualify us, and disqualifying ourselves only places ground into enemy hands.  We needed saving because we were sinful and we still need his spirit because we are weak. His strength is made perfect in weakness so perhaps I need to be all the more vocal of my own weakness so that He may be glorified in me?  Or have I misunderstood what Paul was talking about?

I need to find the quiet voice that leads the way. There are times I’ll need to be quiet to do that. But perhaps I also need to continue to be noisy in declaring who God is, the extent of his grace, the provision of the cross and the call to his kingdom?  I cannot fear man, what can they do to me? if they kill me, do I not still gain the prize? So death holds no barrier to action..  only my own stubbornness or embarrassment does?

No comments: