The Front Page

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Lent 3.28

As we consider the theme of silence this week, I wanted to share a paragraph from the book, Liturgy of the Ordinary that surprised me greatly.  The author, Tish Harrison Warren is talking about the ways that we can begin to see everyday things in our lives as interconnected with spiritual practices.  She helps us think about how things like making the bed or brushing our teeth or going to sleep can connect us with God.  She shares this about silence:

A fascinating and somewhat disturbing study out of the University of Virginia showed that, given the choice, many preferred undergoing electric shock to sitting alone with their thoughts.  Study participants were exposed to a mild shock, which they all reported they didn't like and would pay money not to undergo again.  But when left alone in an empty room with a "shocker" button for up to fifteen minutes, removed from all distractions, unable to check their phones or listen to music, two-thirds of men and one-fourth of women in the study chose to voluntarily shock themselves rather than sit in silence.  Dr. Tim Wilson, who helped conduct the study, said, "I think this could be why, for many of us, external activities are so appealing, even at the level of the ubiquitous cell phone that so many of us keep consulting...The mind is so prone to want to engage with the world, it will take any opportunity to do so.


Reading this was sort of stunning to me.  I'm not always great with silence, but am getting better.  Today, what if you took the opportunity to be silent, even for two to three minutes.  The next time you go to look at your phone, what if you instead paused, took a few deep breaths and just let yourself be with God today.  Let me know how it goes!

Peace,
Laurie 
Posted by Laurie Weicher at 6:00 AM
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