“Nature abhors a vacuum” This Aristolean principle helps explain why air fills an “empty” space, why liquid goes to the edge of the container its given, and why, regardless of the size of our house, we always seem to be able to fill it with stuff. We grow to the space we are given whether it terms of our potential or in terms of our physical possessions.
In the same way that nature fills emptiness, many fill silence with the presence of speech. In a car ride with others, a litany of syllables fill the air. Waiting for a doctor’s appointment, we start chatting up the other unsuspecting patients. An elevator is our worse nightmare, because as we wait for the ten-floor ride downward we aren’t sure what conversation is most appropriate.
Sometimes though, words aren’t what’s needed. “Silence is golden” as they say, and while you may not be able to sell it on the commodities market, there is value in the absence of words. We speak because we want to demonstrate our intelligence, our concern, or our care. Sometimes though, wisdom means that we withold our opionions, our options, and our intution to allow God to work. The wisest thing we can do is to withold peddling our perceptions so that we can see things from His. When we are standing before a holy God, all the words that we have to say are useless. Wisdom dictates listening to Him, not ourselves.
Words can captivate and motivate, but words can’t love and words can’t care. Just ask Micheal Oher, recently drafted to the Baltimore Ravens. Once homeless, he’s now a member of an NFL, primarily thanks to the actions of one caring family in the community. Words couldn’t do that, only action could. While thousands may have been able to tell Oher what he needed, only one family actually provided it.
We speak to elevate ourselves in the presence of our audience, whether its a thousand people, or just one friend. However, oftentimes the best thing we can do is direct them to the One audience that really matters and tell them to listen to Him.