Silent night, holy night
All is calm, all is bright

From great minds like the poet Thomas Carlyle to Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons, it has been observed that “Silence is golden.” I guess that’s because, like gold, silence is so rare. My husband and I are new empty nesters, and he travels a good bit, so I spend a lot of time alone. Even in solitude, I usually hear something—the voice in my head. “Is the coffee pot off?“ “Did I pay Julia’s tuition bill?” “I wonder what Evan is doing right now.” “Are you SURE the coffee pot is off?”

The lyrics to Silent Night were written by Joseph Mohr, a priest in Salzburg, Austria. He asked schoolmaster and musician Franz Xaver Gruber to write a guitar melody, and the two actually performed the song together for the first time at Christmas Eve mass in 1818. I imagine that quiet was a little easier to come by when the song was written two centuries ago. However, I suspect even then, folks recognized the value of those fleeting moments when “all is calm, all is bright.” But do WE? When we crave a peaceful moment and it finally presents itself in between tasks, do we take advantage of it or do we just fill it with a different distraction? I know I need to do a better job of seeking silence. After all, without quiet, how can I hear that still, small voice? (No, not the one asking me about the coffee pot.)

SING A NEW SONG: At some point today, be silent for a few minutes. Heavenly peace is important.