Embrace, Use Silence
Did you ever try to read words without
spaces between them? It is hard to make sense of it all. I was
listening to someone who read like this the other day and it made me
dizzy. There were lots of words but very little meaning.
And then I started to think that this is
what my life is like some days -- like one run-on sentence that is
difficult to decipher or make sense of. I go from activity to
activity and meeting to meeting without really processing what I have
seen or heard.
Sometimes we feel like good stewards if
we are really busy. In fact, some of my people who are the most
concerned about the poor and the sick and those less fortunate and the
world and the war and the ... well, you know yourselves, don't have
time to worship. I know it is not because they love God less than
those of us who show up to worship. Somehow they think that the doing
will not get done if they slow down and take some time with God.
Reading and speaking only makes sense
with the right pauses. Life is like that too. It is the silence
between the activity that gives meaning to all of it. Think about it
for a minute. Every new and creative thought comes out of the silence
and not out of the constant stream of commentary in your brain. God
breaks into the silence to talk to us.
To be good stewards of all that God has
given us we need to make use of other gifts that God has given us: the
gifts of prayer and meditation and worship. In our time with God and
our time with the gathered community we are renewed and strengthened
and reminded again why we do what we do.
There is a story about a woman who goes
to a spiritual teacher and talks about her unhealthy diet. The
teacher tells her to come back in two weeks. And then he tells her to
give up sugar. She says, "Why did you wait two weeks to give me that
simple advice?" He said, "I had to give it up myself before I could
tell you too."
I only have a summer's jump on you in the
meditation department. Actually some of you are probably more regular
in your prayer habits than I am. Pastors are as guilty as everyone
else of thinking that they have to look busy. Maybe it is having so
many bosses. I have been intentional about my time in silence and it
has enriched my life and made the activity more meaningful.
Offer back to the Lord a portion of the
time that the Lord has given you. Come back to worship this fall and
spend more time with God. All those things that need to get done, God
will see to.
We give thanks for all that you have given us. May we use your gift
of time to remember the gift of your son and praise and worship you
2003, The Rev. Dana Reardon. Used by permission.
The Rev. Dana Reardon (Mspastor@aol.com) is pastor at St. Paul
Evangelical Lutheran Church, Warwick, RI. A lifelong Lutheran, she
came to ordained ministry after 21 years in nursing, mostly in pediatric
intensive care. She graduated from Lutheran Theological Seminary
at Philadelphia in 1998 and served 4 ½ years in Upstate New York before
becoming a New Englander. She is still trying to understand the
accent. While in the Upstate New York Synod she chaired the
Stewardship Team. That began her fascination with what makes
stewards -- and more, what makes for generosity.
has three amazing daughters: Pastor Reardon says much of
what she knows of life she learned from them.