The best way to experience God is to stop talking. The praying saints testify that silence is the language of God. So does the Bibble. The prophet Habbakuk said, "The Lord is in his holy temple, let all the earth stand silent before him" (Habbakuk 2.20). When Elijah the prophet was seeking God on the mountain, we're told that God came to him not in a might wind, not in a mighty shaking of the earth, not in flames of fire, but in the "sound of sheer silence" (1 Kings 19.12). Silence and stillness and simplicity create the environment for unmediated encounter with the Holy.

Jim's a friend who's learned this truth. An active person, engaged in upper corporate management, competent, and hungry for God, he's learned to cultivate a contemplative posture in the midst of a very busy life. He spends time each day in silence before God. Not asking God for anything. Not reading. His only effort is to still his thoughts, and clear the internal clutter for just a few minutes.

Grinning, he once told me: "Silence is so loud."

Intention: Today, I'll practice a moment or more of silence . . . in simple stillness before God. It won't come easily. I get that. But I crave what can come to me only when I'm open, receptive, quiet.