As a Christian, I find it necessary to guard my silent or quiet times. I'm a morning person, so getting up at 5:30 works best for me. In those quiet, pre-dawn hours I have the opportunity to sit in silence. Notice I said "opportunity." Even then, I have to consciously choose silence. It's very easy to start answering e-mails or reading updates on Facebook and get distracted from spending quiet time with my Creator and Saviour. I have to commit to reading Scripture, to presenting myself and my day to Jesus and asking for His guidance, strength, and wisdom. I have to force myself to be quiet, to be still, to listen. I've found it helps to have my planner and a notebook beside me. Often thoughts flit from one thing to another - I need to phone this person, I have to buy some yogurt for lunches, etc. If I write those thoughts down, it clears my mind and allows me to focus.
"These things will destroy the human race: politics without principle, progress without compassion, wealth without work, learning without silence, religion without fearlessness and worship without awareness." - Anthony de Mello
As a writer, I also need to cultivate silence. I have five young children and a husband and the responsibilities they bring. My writing time used to be late at night when everyone was in bed. Now it is early in the morning or when my husband's at work and my children are at school. Writing is work that is best done in solitude and silence. Writers need time to think, time to organize their thoughts, time to consider whether something is best said or left unsaid.
"Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together." -Thomas Carlyle
What about you? How do you seek silence and maintain godly priorities in your life?
"And they write innumerable books; being too vain and distracted for silence: seeking everyone after his own elevation, and dodging his emptiness" - T.S. Elliot