Sunday morning, my pastor told me he wants me to talk more. (Well, he told all of us.) He was specifically talking about the kind of talk I really don’t like—that which we do largely or solely because we’ve conditioned ourselves to be uncomfortable with silence.
I don’t mean talking with anyone you see regularly, whether you know the person’s name or not. If you’ve bought coffee from and shared a smile with someone once or twice a week for a couple of years, then sure, you might chat a bit. I might too.
No, I mean in the elevator. Or standing at the gas pump. Or anywhere else you’ll encounter someone you’ve never seen before and will almost certainly never see again. And I don’t mean when you actually have something to talk about. You want to ask about his car or his watch? Great!
But talking just to fill the silence? No. Stop. Try cultivating tolerance for the silence instead. We don’t have to be buddies, you and I. We’ll do our basic automatic threat assessments, and that really can be it.
I’m going to try to keep an open mind and heart as this sermon series progresses. As of today, though, I’m not sure endeavoring to talk more is a good channel for my spiritual energy. That’s not me closing myself off to a potential growth experience. That’s me knowing myself.