Creative silence

India, where I live, is a country of wide, sweeping farmlands; huge mountains jutting their peaks into the sky; broad rivers lazily moving over rocks. The land is as peaceful as it always has been, but the people who live here, like anywhere in the world, are often stressed.

Dr. Hans Selye, a prominent medical research scientist, has observed, “In this hurry-up world we are subjecting ourselves to too many stresses. We hurry constantly and worry incessantly.” Unfortunately, many have yet to learn to develop inner peace.

An excellent technique for overcoming stress is the practice of silence. It entails going into a quiet place and doing your best to be still and shift your mind into neutral. William James (1842–1910) said, “It is as important to cultivate your silence power as it is your word power,” and Thomas Carlyle (1795–1881) declared, “Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together.” God’s Word gives the same advice: “In quietness and confidence shall be your strength.”1

I recently read an interview with a rubber manufacturer who pointed out that his industry did not learn to make efficient tires until they were redesigned to absorb road shock rather than merely to resist it. We too would be more successful if we learned to relax and let the pressures and stress of life flow right through us rather than rigidly battling them.

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If you are to maintain power to meet your responsibilities and to continue effectively over the long pull, you must give as much consideration to that delicate, yet powerful mechanism known as your human personality as engineers give to their engines. You can purchase another engine, but that “engine” known as yourself cannot be reproduced if it fails, and stress is a major cause of that failure.—Norman Vincent Peale (1898–1993), American minister and author

We need to find God, and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness. See how nature, the trees, the flowers, and the grass grow in perfect silence. … We need to be alone with God in silence to be renewed and to be transformed. For silence can give us a new outlook on life.—Mother Teresa (1910–1997), founder of the Order of the Missionaries of Charity

  1. Isaiah 30:15