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Delayed In Silence

Delayed In Silence

I love airports delays. Now, I know I’m crazy for loving to sit on the floor anxiously waiting for the speaker above my head to call my flight number, but everything about this crazy wait causes a breakdown in our overly stressed-out, hyper productive society. I love watching how people respond when the gods of the airport disrupt their jam-packed day. There’s nothing they can do; they can’t solve their problem by jumping on their cell, sending an email or raising their impatient voice. The greatest fear of American society hits the entire population of terminal A – boredom. No TV, Internet, friend to pass time away with— no one but their self, their conscience, their soul. They’re trapped with nowhere to turn but inward.

Go ahead and watch people when this type of catastrophe hits. They try with all their might to distract themselves from having to face their interior. They desperately attempt to make small talk with those sitting around them: talking about the weather, complaining about their ruined day, and how faulty our air transportation system is and how they could run it better. I love human nature, especially at its finest. It’s as if logic goes out the window and the close mindedness of the “I’m right” mentality takes over, making many respond like children. They scream and cry because life just isn’t going the way they need it go. They want it like Burger King, “their way, right a way,” but it just doesn’t work like that when flying the friendly skies. As many times as the gate workers announced the current condition, people are insistent that when they ask the same question that’s been asked by everyone else they will somehow receive a different answer.

Now, do I have places to go, meetings to attend and tasks to accomplish? Of course I do, why else would I be flying (except for my occasional vacation)? But it honestly doesn’t cause an ulcer to form in the pit of my stomach because I can’t get a definite minute by minute of my Friday afternoon. My response really has nothing to do with the business of my day or that my work is less important than Mr. Joe in front of me; I honestly believe it’s because I am at peace with my interior self. I can sit in solitude, in silence. I’ve deprogrammed myself from our stress-addicted society and determined that being busy does not make me important. I’ve stopped running from boredom and the fear of being alone and embraced the secret of silence, which leads to greater fulfillment in life.

Besides the purging of the human soul I think we avoid silence because it’s been tagged with a negative connotation. What happened when you got in trouble as a kid? You were sent to your room or to “the corner” to sit in silence. I don’t know about you but that was torture for me. I would rather have had soap stuck in my mouth than sit all alone. We were punished with silence! Now after much deep thought I have come to a firm belief that the reason behind the silent torment was to force us to think about our actions and where we went wrong. But did I ever do that? Um no. Rather I sat there contemplating ways to get even with my brother or attempting to figure out why my parents had a conspiracy against me.

Okay, enough talk; try it. Sit in silence for ten minutes. Don’t play background music, don’t read, don’t do anything. At first your mind will feel like it’s stuck in dead-stop traffic. You won’t be able to see much of anything except red taillights and hear the overwhelming hum of all the engines. Don’t freak out and give up after one minute. Take a deep breath, clear your mind and simply ask the Author of peace and life to breath on you. Watch as those vehicles begin to move, hear the sound of them whizzing right by you. Watch as the complexities of living in a concrete jungle begin to disappear and you find yourself in the middle of God’s creation simply being and existing. Allow the mind to rest and find its place in the center of the Father. Don’t hold anything back; let your mind swim freely in the open waters of solitude. Let your true-self surface, face the facts and listen to your heartbeat alongside His. Honestly, if you’re like me you most likely will find yourself falling asleep – that’s okay! Go ahead and dive into rest. Let the most overworked and underpaid faculty of the human body go on standby.

Have you ever seen two people madly in love? I mean sick and drunk with love. They can’t get their eyes off each other as if there is an invisible force between them. I always see them in the park captivated by a mystical energy. The odd aspect of this scene is that they use very few words to communicate their love. They sit for hours just staring at one another unable to break free from the power of their love. Now I am a romantic by nature (most Italian’s are), but this is not too idealist, this is not a fairy tale. It’s real life, true life. It’s sitting in silence with the Lover of your soul being fascinated by Him; waiting for His move or gentle whisper; letting His love touch the deepest and most intimate parts of you. All of a sudden, silence doesn’t sound so boring any more it actually becomes quite invigorating. The 40

Psalm puts it so pure and simple: “I waited patiently for the Lord, he inclined and heard my cry.”

[Written by Joey Papa, 25, college grad currently working as a Road Manager. He has a great passion & desire for the restoration of the arts in the church.]


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