Posted by: Susan Gaddis | April 29, 2009

Silence and Stillness

“In the making of him, the element of silence was immense.” –Carl Sandburg in Abraham Lincoln, The Prairie Years and the War Years.

Silence and stillness–I need lots of it. It is restorative for me to sit in quiet in the early morning staring out the window with my hot cup of coffee. No interruptions and 1/8 cup heavy cream in the coffee, please. One of the best things about this sabbatical is the available time to do this all morning long if I so desire. These mornings are when I get a lot of thinking, processing, and “making of me” time done between me and the Spirit Holy.

In 1 Samuel 2 and 3 I note that Samuel grew in favor with the Lord and even ministered before the Lord. Right after that the Scripture points out that Samuel did not yet know the Lord nor had the Word of the Lord been revealed to him. Hummm. Just because you are busy for God doesn’t mean you know Him or that you listen enough to have His Word revealed to you.

Do I know the Lord? Yes, for many years. Have I had His Word revealed to me? Yes, many times. Do I ever grow beyond the need to sit silently and still before Him? No, I have that need daily. It is a practice that centers me. It forms me. Or should I say it reforms me.

I’ve wondered about those guys who go, go, go on their sabbaticals. Some seem to schedule lots of travel. Others have clear goals laid out in black and white that they hope to accomplish so that their church will know that they spent their time well. I’m glad we didn’t leave that expectation out there in big letters for all to see and measure us by. I’m glad the days are available to do nothing but sit in silence and stillness and muse with the One Who Makes Me.




  1. I Love the heart of your message today and I am warmed by the fact that you are indeed sabbaticalling. (Smile) Enjoy and be blessed. I pray for you every time I pass your house on the freeway and more.

  2. Thank God for rest and silence…. I want you to know we would be sad if you were gone and away from us this whole long time and were still busy. Nothingness is exactly what we all hoped for.. empty so you can be filled up. love you

  3. Susan, this is convicting. I can tell I’m nearing the time for us getting away for our 2month sabatical… ahhhh I’m holding on for another month and then awayyyyyy.
    I feel the Spirit drawing me in your blog. I’ve ministered to the Lord of late and desperately need to know Him daily, as you mentioned. I know better, just need the reminder. I’m hungry for MORE of HIM. Thank you for writing your process. It calls out to me, come and dine.

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