I must confess that I do enjoy what I know of as “The Sounds of Silence.” Nothing is more relaxing than sitting back with a cup of coffee and enjoying the silence as it whistled by. This has become a rather infrequent period for me.
I love the silence and I enjoy the peace and quiet it brings.
The problem is, silence can be taken too far.
Recently, we were the target of a ferocious hurricane who tried to have her way with us. She snorted, huffed, puffed and stomped her way up through the state of Florida. As it turned out, although there was a tremendous amount of damage, it was not as bad as expected. That is something we can thank God for.
For almost a week, we were privileged to have her presence in our state. She did not stay as long as we expected and we were quite happy to see her go. The further north she went the less strength she had. The state of Florida simply exhausted her.
Here in Florida we are used to high winds and that sort of thing. Water, rain and flooding are a common occurrence here. We did have some record high flooding, but in the mainstream, we endured and got through it.
Many people were out of electricity for days and some for weeks at a time.
The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and her faithful companion did not lose electricity. We did lose, however, our Internet, phone and TV. That covered pretty much everything in our house.
My wife had her car filled with gas while I on the other hand, did not. I did not think it would last long, so I stuck it out because I really had no place to go. Where would I go?
Almost everything was closed. Even the gas stations at one point closed. Restaurants were closed so I could not go out and have lunch. Therefore, even though I did not have gas, I really did not need gas. I really had nowhere to go.
I did have a plan, though. I figured if we had to go somewhere, we could use my wife’s car. She always has plenty of gas, so I wasn’t worried.
Many people around us lost their electricity and I figured we would lose ours too. We did not and so I was most grateful. At least I could set in the living room with the air conditioner on enjoying myself.
As the days turned into more than I can remember, it started to get rather boring. We had no Internet or phone or TV so I did not know what was going on around us. It was quite exasperating to me.
I like to know what’s going on and what’s happening and what to expect.
“Just relax,” my wife said rather calmly, “everything is all right and we have nothing to fear.”
It wasn’t anything I wanted to Fear, there were just things I wanted to Know. Fear and Know are two very different things.
Then she said something, which she thought, would calm me down a little bit.
“Remember,” she said most seriously, “that song by Simon and Garfunkel?”
I knew where she was going with this, but I had nothing else to do so I thought I would play along.
“No, I don’t,” I said as seriously as possible. “I can’t remember that far back.”
She scowled at me and then continued, “The Sounds of Silence.”
“We have electricity, the air conditioning is running, the refrigerator is okay and the stove is working so I can cook. We don’t have anything to worry about.”
“Just listen,” she continued, “to those wonderful sounds of silence.”
It was about that time that the rain came down in torrential fury. I looked at her and smiled and she whirled back to the kitchen to cook supper.
Silence is wonderful if you’re in control of it. Too much silence can get a little bit aggravating, at least to someone like me. I enjoy the silence when I can open a book and enjoy the literature before me. Then I like to get on the Internet or TV and find out what is happening in the world.
Too much silence can be aggravating and then I got to thinking, what in the world did people do before we had electricity?
This gave me a new appreciation for the things that I have. During those “Sounds of Silence,” I began to think about all the blessings I have in my life. Most of the time we do not appreciate what we have until we do not have them any longer.
What is the one thing I could do without? That is a hard question to ask, but I thought about it during the silence. One of the things I want to learn from this experience is to every day appreciate what I have because tomorrow I may not have it any longer.
I thought about what David wrote in the book of Psalms. “This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalms 118:24).
I only have one chance to rejoice and be glad in today, and I’m going to take it as much as I can.
Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores.