// BarryBlog //

A creative dumping ground for issues that interest me personally and professionally, with the thought they may interest you too. Issues such as the business of design, the design of business, the design of objects, design strategy, creative direction, innovation, creativity, thought leadership, observations, as well as recommendations, mid-century modern decorative arts and architecture, and the state of my thinking (and currently the state of my heart).

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Silence, Humility, and the Enemy.


Sometimes, even with the right intentions, we can find ourselves thinking about and crafting words about our position in life—the choices we have made, our perspective about faith, our particular circumstances, our fears, and even God, that ironically limits our understanding of His will for our lives. Subconscious protective systems that we employ can masquerade as understanding, which in the end, places controls on God and limits our ability to meet Him. Instead of speaking, I've mostly been listening. God is always speaking. The silence is allowing me to hear Him. Especially as I intentionally set out to listen.

Over the last year or so, it is not uncommon for 72 hours to pass without saying a single word to a human being. Though at times this is discouraging and lonely, this silence is also something I have become very conscious of and am trying to benefit from. Something that in the long run, I am learning is really important, as I listen to what silence means for my life. This quest to hear God's lead, in seeking his wisdom and truths, has become a joyous surprise in this silence, in an otherwise difficult season of my life.

In this video called Silence, Humility and The Enemy, by The Work of the People, Jean Vanier (Catholic philosopher speaking of Taizé) shares how using too many prayers and words might really mean, deep down, that we really don't want to meet Jesus. Or perhaps, face what He is saying. Also, Vanier suggests that the whole of the mystery of Jesus is found in humility, and the way in which God allows us to see, pray for, and forgive people, even those who speak ill of us. This is something I am trying to do with my actions—completely without the use of words.

While on the subject of listening, and in thinking about those who do not...on Sunday I learned that fools avoid facing Truth, and are infrequently (if ever) able to admit or realize their folly. They use words to mask reality and truth–doing and saying what makes themselves gain favor, and appear righteous and right. In this movie, Vanier discusses the limitations we put on God by not forgiving people, and by trying to be in control. The sad thing is fools are doomed by their own doing—unable to rise above their poor choices and false sense of control. What I gained by this movie, and from Vanier, is how true obedience, submission and worship is in one's ability to listen, as perfected in humility.

6 Comments:

Blogger Liz Ness said...

Listening can bring such joy and I hope that this joy finds you and fills up your heart in full.

Thinking of you, my friend!

=) Liz

9:41 AM  
Blogger studiosmith said...

Thanks Liz. I'm glad to hear from you. God bless you and have a great weekend.

8:15 AM  
Blogger Creative Vintage said...

Wow, this is exactly what I am going through too, sometimes the loneliness is overwhelming but I think when I feel that way I have taken my eyes off Christ and put them on myself. God is doing so much in my life at this season and somehow He needed me to be alone and quiet and un-distracted to do it. Thanks for sharing this, it is encouraging to me.

2:25 PM  
Blogger studiosmith said...

Creative Vintage -

I'm so grateful you were encouraged by this post. I'm never sure who reads this, so it brings me joy in knowing how Christ works through people, even in their dark seasons of life. Not sure why I am surprised though, as God's word is full of accounts of people he's chosen to use for His good. My mode of operation is to stay focused on a single word...obedience.

4:13 PM  
Blogger Languish said...

You are so right about fools feeling righteous and using all sorts of things to mask their true identities. Silence, by the way can be truly golden, and gain huge benefits from it. However, with God, you need never be silent. I'm always conversing with him... and it brings me such comfort and escapism to be able to do so.

3:11 PM  
Blogger studiosmith said...

A friend has encouraged me similarly, she says to pray aloud. It feels strange, but it does make the conversation seem more, well, real.

The silence I reference is more the intentional time spent listening. Some of that can be prayer.

6:45 PM  

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