A couple of weeks ago, one of the Lapid Leaders interviewed Michael Oyier, a former KTN News Reported (you can watch the video here). After the interview, they had a conversation that led to Michael sharing some of tips on how to conduct a great media interview. One of the pointers he gave her has stayed with, he said ‘silence is golden’.
If you have been in an interview of any kind, media, job interview etc, you know that when you are asked a question, the natural reaction is to answer it immediately using any words as you try to juggle your brain for appropriate answers. If cool answers take long to land in your head, some words come in handy; ‘uuuuuum’! I have used them. If you are involved in editing videos, you know this is the worst nightmare of any work, trying to edit the words said while you were trying to figure out what to say. However, what Michael was saying is you can actually be quiet and form an answer before speaking, well hopefully it will not take you too long. Silence is golden.
We leave in a very noisy world. We are all always trying to fill in every second of our lives with any form of noise. Silence has become this awkward thing. I have been sharing the lessons I have learned over the last one year of this crazy journey of mine (you can check out the past blog here). This is the third lesson I have learned over the last one year. In a very noisy highly opinionated world, silence is golden. Okay I have Michael to thank for the funky words but the message is so true, silence is golden.
Last year, I went through a season when I was sure God was calling me to live my employment. It was not a funny season, you can read more here. When I finally resigned, I was still not clear on what my next steps would be, would I hunt for another job, would I go back to school, what?! I was sure God would lead, until three months after my resignation, my notice period was coming to an end and I still was clueless on what next.
I remember thinking, ‘This was not the deal God.’
Just when I was about to give up, I asked a friend to pray with me over the issue. I will always remember what he said after we prayed, he said that he feels that God has already answered my prayers but I have not been listening. I knew this was true, I had a preconceived idea on the answer God would give to this prayer and any answer to the contrary had no space in my heart.
However, I remember making a mental note to take a retreat and go ‘listen’ to what God was saying. Turns out I did not need a retreat just an open heart and a quiet house, alone in God’s presence. The week after God deposited Lapid Leaders in ways only He could. I learned then just how much I needed to tune my heart and head to God.
In addition to the noisy world we live in, I am pretty noisy myself. If I told you the number of things that pass through this head, well let’s just say there’s a lot of noise. And through this experience, God taught me to set aside time to listen to Him, time when I am willing to surrender my plans to Him, time when I release all the plans others have for me, time when I seek Him. See the funny thing is He is not a hide and seek God, when we seek Him, we ALWAYS find Him.
Being quiet…in the race
In December last year, He deposited this lesson yet again. I had kicked off the Lapid Leaders journey, was running and doing all I could to get the vision going. Little did I know how exhausted I was, until I went on for this personal retreat towards the end of December.
I remember this retreat so vividly. Ordinarily, I never have a concrete plan for any personal retreat I take. It is the one place I tell God, ‘I am here, speak your servant wants to hear from you’ and He always come through. However, this specific retreat was kinda strange. I remember seating in the grass, waiting, and the quietness was deafening. ‘I am waiting Lord, speak I want to hear from you.’ Quietness, the deafening kind. I do not remember at what point of pleading for God to speak that I slept. Yes, fofofo! I probably even snored. Who does that, takes time away to go sleep in the grass, not even in some comfy bed somewhere? But fofofo I slept.
When I finally woke up, I could not help but laugh because this time God had a word for me. It was about Elijah, you know the story of how Elijah was exhausted, had given up and all God did was love on him? It’s called the ‘Crisis of Elijah’, you can read it in 1 Kings 19.
For that day these verses read ‘The Crisis of Esther’. Yet God did what He does best, He fed me in the quietness of my fofofo sleep. By the time I left the place, I was well fed. He had spoken, He had done what was important, and He had refreshed me. Little did I know I would be back a few days later, this time to take a friend for her retreat, and this time God would give direction. For this specific retreat, all He wanted was to refresh me.
In silence He is found
Isn’t that so cool? We serve a God who all He needs is our silence, He does the rest. The only thing that can be compared to how full my heart felt was the look a child has when they dip all their fingers to ice cream or chocolate for the first time and taste this amazingly sweet thing. Time at God’s feet is heaven on earth but we miss it in the helter skelter or perhaps the laziness of want to hear from God only through others (more on this in part 2).
When I look back at the journey that has been Lapid Leaders, I am awed at the things God can do, the things He is still doing. He opens doors no man can open. He writes stories I never thought possible. I have made connections that only God could orchestrate. And all He asks of me is to know Him, to seek Him, to be still and know He is God.
You need to chase after your encounter with God. He longs to know you, He longs for you to long for Him. And there are no shortcuts to this, He is still found in the quiet places, the places that even Jesus would disappear to. The still quiet voices is where He is found and they are magical. In this places, He teaches, He corrects, and He opens our eyes to the unseen. So yes, silence is golden. Lord, I pray I am always able to tune out the many voices and seek after your voice, coz your presence is heaven to me.