Wonder in the Silence
I’ve gotten so much wrong.
More than you could know.
For long seasons of my life, I’ve lived for myself.
Selfishly oblivious to the needs of even the people closest to me. Distracted by noise. Running from silence.
Through those times I’ve been taught something profound.
I can’t make real change happen.
I just can’t do it. At a surface level, I might be able to become a bit more kind, or a bit less rude, but fundamentally, my heart would remain unchanged - still only ever interested in what’s best for me. Every decision, big and small, influenced by what I want. I could have spent a lifetime gradually shaping myself to become more kind and less rude, but I would still have ended my days with a self-absorbed, rotten heart.
But I have been wrenched off that path.
Drawn into the silence.
Again and again.
I have experienced real, radical change, not because I ever willed it to happen, but because of something bigger than me, transforming me from the inside out.
That radical change was never my work.
I was no closer to it when I was really good.
I was no further away from it when I was really bad.
It wasn’t me who did it.
All I know is grace.
All any Christian really knows is grace.
This means that we know that we are the furthest thing from perfect. In fact, we know that there is nothing truly good in us at all.
We know that we have nothing to cling to but the only person who ever was truly good. This person who chose us, gave His perfection to us, took our mess from us, died because of it instead of us, and conquered death forever for us.
This person who pours His amazing grace into our lives to transform a grey, self-centred, hopeless existence into one which bursts with rich meaning, purpose and colour.
It is why we love Him. It is why we want to know and follow Him. It is why we’re desperate for you to know Him too. How could we not be?
We get a lot wrong because of that longing. We can be unkind, careless and insensitive in the ways that we express it. Clumsy in our eagerness.
But, more often than not, a Christian talking to you about their faith is probably one of the hardest things they could do. To be open about their faith is to expose their deepest imperfections. To say “I am not a good person”, and to admit that they could never get there on their own.
This is the message of Jesus.
Your life isn’t about you and your goodness.
It isn’t about you at all.
Living like it is will waste it.
They only want you to know what they know. To find what they’ve found. They want it so much, which is crazy, but it’s true. They believe it so strongly that they’re willing to abandon their identity, their status, even their credibility, to follow this person.
Just ask the question.
Come into that quiet place. That still place. Consciousness. Wake up out of the daydream. Mute everything that everyone has been shouting at you for your whole life, and question all of it.
Why am I never quite where I want to be?
Why does it always feel like there’s more I should be experiencing?
Why is it that the horizons I pin my hopes on are always tarnished with disappointment when they finally arrive?
Why do I always feel so empty?
What am I actually doing here?
What if this isn’t all there is?
What if everyone is wrong?
It changes everything.
Listen to the questions that the deepest part of you is screaming to be answered. Find the silence beneath all of it and push into it. Just once.
Your whole life will flash by in a maelstrom of information and noise unless you choose to stop. You will forever drift towards information instead of wonder. Noise instead of silence.
But there is untold wonder waiting in the silence.
You might already know what’s waiting for you there. Things you once believed.
He’s always been there.
Turn off your phone.
If you don’t walk into the silence now, if you don’t choose to take this outstretched hand to explore it, you might never know the wonder of it.
You might spend the rest of your days, forever hungry for more noise, occasionally resolving to shape yourself for the better, to then end it all with an unchanged, rotten heart.
This may be the only crack of light in that bleak future. Take it. Please.
Just walk into the silence. See what meets you. Ask the questions. Encounter the one who’s waiting there.
Your life is more than this.
It’s bigger than this.
This could be the only opportunity you get to find out.