I’ll save you the anticipation. Here are the two words. Silence. Risk. Intrigued? Keep reading.
Silence. For so long, I simply listened and obeyed the voice in my head always talking to me. It was the self-chatter, the conversation we continually have with ourselves. And most of it is laced with half-baked truths, warped perspectives, and outright lies. We simply do not have the capacity to see ourselves clearly by ourselves. I had to silence the self-chatter before I could hear truth. How did I do that? Silence.
Every morning, I get up before the sounds of the day and sit on my back porch with my coffee. I open the Bible and hear truth spoken there. Then I open my journal and write what I am feeling. Now the self-chatter has ceased. I can be silent before God. In that silence I feel his touch comforting me, hear his voice calling me. And I begin to see myself the way my Father sees me. The silence here is not optional. It’s mandatory. It’s life. Without it, I easily careen back into old ruts.
Now my day begins. What does it mean to live out of that silence? How does it change things around me? Risk. That’s where walking with God always takes me. For so long, I was chained to a cascade of fears that I compulsively obeyed. Which meant I was compulsively disobeying God. To break those chains I had to push in a new direction. It’s unknown. It’s uncomfortable. It’s risk. It could be raising a difficult topic with family member, speaking to a coworker about a concern, asking someone for help with a skill (yes, that’s a risk for me), or simply being emotionally honest with others.
For to risk means that I am no longer trusting myself, staying in my safe zone. I am leaning on God now, believing he will meet me and coach me through the danger zone. This is what obedience to God feels like.
Silence. Risk. These two words are my oxygen, my sustenance each day. But especially at Christmas time. For years this was a difficult time. Old patterns would resurface, old haunts return, old idols reawaken. I would dread the time, trying just to survive. But no more. This Christmas I have been silent. I have taken risks. I am becoming alive.
This is why Jesus was born at Christmas…to make us alive, truly alive.