In an interview for Costco Connection, Melinda Gates discussed the need for periods of silence in her life. “I take a lot of time for silence…Because only in that quiet time can you shut out the noise of the world and really take in what you’ve heard and what you’ve seen.” (‘This Woman’s Work, by Stephanie E. Ponder, Costco Connection May 2019)
Gates was discussing the humanitarian work she does to improve the lives of women and children around the world and her strategy to keep from being overwhelmed. She went on to say, “I’ve seen a lot of misery and even death in the developing world. But you have to take that in and you have to process it.”
Gates is correct in that there is much pain and suffering in the world. For those who seeking ways to assist others in need, the options are limitless and many times overwhelming. We must recognize that individually we cannot do everything. But, we can do some thing.
So, how does one decide what challenge(s) to tackle? I believe that Melinda Gates is absolutely correct in that one must make ‘time for silence.’ It is necessary to shut out all ‘the noise of the world’ and process in order to decide on the plans of action that will be helpful to those who in need. I would take it one step further–in the times of silence we need to listen for God’s voice to direct our paths. Stillness allows us to shut out the voices that are not God’s and to focus on what He is telling us. In Psalm 46:10, we are told to “Be still and know that I am God.”
If we are still and take the time to listen to God’s voice, He will direct our paths, as a shepherd leads his sheep. God will show us the problems that He is calling us to solve. When I take the time to sit in silence and listen for His voice, I can be sure that my actions will produce good results. “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord.” Psalm 37:23
Twyla Paris wrote about this in the lyrics to her song ‘Where He Leads Me:’
There are many wondrous voices,
Day and night they fill the air,
But there is one so small and quiet,
I would know it anywhere,
In the city or in the wilderness,
There’s a ringing crystal clear,
And to be every close beside Him,
When He calls me I will hear.
I encourage you to make time daily to spend in quiet fellowship with the Lord and to listen for His still, quiet voice directing your footsteps.Embed from Getty Images