More quotes from Celebration of Discipline:
Simply to refrain from talking, without a heart listening to God, is not silence.
When we speak of ourselves and are filled with ourselves, we leave silence behind. When we repeat the intimate words of God that he has left within us, our silence remains intact.
I have a tendency when I am upset (and I am upset a LOT) to come to God crying, spilling out an endless stream of hurts and fears and worries and problems and things that are just messed up and that I need help with. It is a fine way to pray. Simple Prayer, according to Richard Foster in this book. It is the prayer of children, and we need this sort of prayer from time to time.
It is cathartic for me to tumble all my problems out and point and say what it is that hurts or bothers me about each one. It is good for me to go to my Father when I am upset and let him listen to my troubles and comfort me.
But it is also good for me to listen back, and I am not as good at this part.
I say my piece and get my release. My mind is clear and my heart is a bit lighter and I can move on. I do make an effort to listen. To mark down truth or wisdom or any guidance or instructions. Things to remember about whatever I have been worried about.
But I think that practicing solitude is a way for me to really listen. In fact, to listen before I start pouring out my list of troubles. That's the trick for me right now. To spend a bit of time on a regular basis (weekly? daily? not sure yet) just sitting in the whatever - fear, pain, grief... - with God. Feeling and listening but no talking.
Glargh! That is hard for me!
But so beneficial. I think that ultimately more productive work gets done in 10 minutes of me sitting in silence than in me spending hours spazzing out to God about all my stuff. To sit and be present to his goodness and love brings true rest and peace, not just the momentary lightness of "emotionally barfing" on God. To find a few verses that speak of truth and just focus my mind on those things instead of the 793 things that are upsetting me does more to calm and comfort.