Sacred space is disappearing — not just for me but for all of us. It is being swallowed up by digital sprawl. With ever-increasing advancements in technology, there are few spaces that remain untouched by some form of communication.
Whether we are in the car or on an airplane or in the shower, technology keeps us connected to email, internet, radio broadcasts, tunes, movies, and more. Phone apps silently push data to our digital devices, even when we are sleeping, so that we always have the world’s information close at hand.
We stay connected to folks we know and barely know through various forms of social media. Twitter feeds keep us updated on the most mundane and inane things that those in our Twitter-world are doing. We snort noise like cocaine addicts and get jittery when things get too quiet. Lack of connection and digital stimulation makes us feel uncomfortable.
I am increasingly convicted about the necessity of finding sacred spaces — interruption-free zones that cannot be penetrated by the digital data and dandruff that I have grown accustomed to.
I really work hard at setting aside time in which to think deeply and to reflect on the things that are stirring around in my heart. However, finding a quiet place in which to do so presents more of a challenge. That’s one reason I choose to drive rather than fly when I travel within the State. I prefer long periods of windshield time to another trip through a busy airport.
I am convinced that there are riches to be found in the context of quiet and reflective periods. I wonder how many aha-moments I have missed over the years because I was too connected and therefore too distracted to hear or to see them.
Unless I disconnect more often from the things that keep me tethered to technology and incessant noise, I am liable to miss more of those moments that only come around every now and then.
I know that it’s not easy to disconnect, but it is vital to our sanity and survival that we learn to do so regularly. We must find and set apart as sacred those spaces that can enable us to get refreshed and recharged — places where we can enjoy a bit of solitude and develop deeper intimacy with the Almighty.
We must not allow the endless noise and chatter around us to confiscate our silence. Whenever we find an opportunity to disconnect the data that can distract us, then we should do so. Only then will we have a greater opportunity to connect with the God who loves us and desires to have intimate fellowship with us.
The Bible is full of examples of ordinary people and prophets who gained greater understanding and perspective on their times because they spent time with God in silent places.
So, let’s heed the advice of Zephaniah, one of those prophets, who said, “Be silent before the Lord God!” (Zephaniah 1:7). That was good advice then and it is good advice now. Find and guard your own sacred spaces and discover the riches that grow in the soil of silence.