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Archive for June 12th, 2012

Last week I published a post called Tricks and Old Dogs. In it I wrote of my love of talking, and of a recent realization that when I felt as though I was not being listened to, I stopped talking, I stopped communicating. I also wrote of how I was planning on working on that personal response from a self-improvement context.

Since then I have encountered a certain passage in the Bible … twice, and I am starting to think that there is something in it for me.

The day after publishing that post, I read a post of a fellow blogger, which featured Ecclesiastes 3:1-15 (he is a great writer and thinker, and his posts are worth checking out). The blogger focused on how the scripture emphasized the need and reliance for balance. That the reality of the seasons of the year, and of life required a concentration of the balance that they provide in our existence.

For instance seeds are planted in the spring, and the harvest is gathered in the autumn, because that is what makes for the best growth of plants. We can laugh anytime, but to laugh after a season of weeping makes the laughing all the sweeter.

Then, at our staff devotions, a teacher read the same scripture. This time, as it was being read, I ‘heard’ the message that was in it for me. Verse 7 states, “(there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:) a time to be silent and a time to speak.” When the words settled in my ears, I realized that maybe I had been silent for a reason that came, not from weakness, but from a holy, seasonal balance. Maybe this was my time to be silent?

When I came home I did my research. I discovered that the verse from Ecclesiastes was cross referenced to:
Amos 5:13, “therefore the prudent keep quiet in such times”
Job 34:29, “but if he remains silent, who can condemn him?”

Maybe, just maybe, my silence was not simply born out of weakness, nor the result of inappropriate responding to individuals or situations. Maybe, my tongue has been silenced because it is not my season to speak? Maybe, at this time, saying nothing is the healthiest, the most wise route to take? Maybe keeping quiet at this time is not about forfeiting my ability to express myself, but about taking the time to listen, and providing the opportunities for others to practice a season of speaking? Maybe, my silence is a holy protection, that I need to embrace, and not fight against?

I am still determined to learn through this experience. I just might try learning from the silence.

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Karla Sullivan

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