Intelligent silence is
the mother of prayer,
freedom from bondage,
custodian of zeal,
a guard on our thoughts...
a companion of stillness,
the opponent of dogmatism,
a growth of knowledge,
a hand to shape contemplation,
the secret journey upward.
For most of us in the church, Sabbath is probably the command we take least seriously. But we do so at the expense of our own souls. Keeping the Sabbath is what feeds our souls and fortifies our relationship with Christ.
A recent parenting article in TIME magazine examines the benefits for families choosing to slow down the pace of life and even embrace “boredom.” Author Carl Honoré writes “(Children) need that space not to be entertained or distracted. What boredom does is take away the noise … and leave them with space to think deeply.”
Ironically there is a connection between silence and hearing God speak to us. And as our world gets louder and louder with technology that never leaves our side, I believe we need times of extended silence even more than we used to.
Eugene Peterson, author of The Message, writes about keeping the Sabbath in his book Working the Angles:
Sabbath means quit. Stop. Take a break. Cool it… Quieting the internal noise so we hear the still small voice of our Lord… The two biblical reasons for sabbath-keeping develop into parallel sabbath activities of praying and playing.
As a family, discuss these questions:
1) Can we commit as a family to try this for a month (i.e. four Sundays) and then discuss how we feel about it, what’s working, and what’s not working?
2) Which day of the week and for how long will we keep the Sabbath together?
3) What will be some nonnegotiables for us? What are some things we will do? What are some things we won’t do?
4) How can we creatively incorporate praying and playing into our Sabbath?