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Afraid of the Silence

The pastor of the church Leanne and I attended on Sunday did a ten second experiment in the middle of his sermon. After reading Psalm 46:10, he glanced at his watch, not saying a word. This awkward silence felt longer than ten seconds, but he was trying to prove a point. The next portion of his message illustrated how most adults are afraid of silence, drowning it out with noise from some form of electronics.

My soul, wait only upon God and silently submit to Him; for my hope and expectation are from Him, Psalm 62:5.

Back in high school, silence was never a good thing on a date. Despite my fears of stuttering, I tried to say something funny to keep a conversation going. From a relational point of view, silence is either a sign of boredom or a lack of compatibility. As an adult, my own silence is usually a byproduct of shear exhaustion. While I enjoy talking, I don’t mind the silence as much as it gives me time to reflect upon life.

Set a guard, O Lord, before my mouth; keep watch at the door of my lips, Psalm 141:3.

According to the Psalmists, a collection of chapters written by different authors, silence is symbolic of a mature faith. When you don’t like your job or work, anyone can become great at procrastinating. Yet, the more time you kill in idle adventures, the less time you have to connect with and stay in tune with God. When you’re talking over someone, it’s hard to listen. Even if you’re afraid of the silence of being alone like Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire, when the Holy Spirit speaks God’s message, it’s clearer in the silence.

by Jay Mankus

Grinding It Out

At 2:59 AM Eastern Standard Time, seconds before midnight on the west coast, the May 1st deadline to submit a screenplay for 2015’s Academy Nicholl Fellowships Contest ends.  Any procrastinating writers who have fallen behind schedule, scramble to the finish line, hoping to make it across before its too late.  Giving up mentality weeks ago, God’s strength lifted me up to grind it out.

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed, 2 Corinthians 4:8-9.

Following two unsuccessful entries in consecutive years, I took 2014 off, doubting that I would ever have the right stuff to be a professional screen writer.  The jury is still out as I have to wait until summer to find out for sure.  Either way, after two grueling years, my first edit of Behind the Devil’s Door is complete.  You can’t win if you don’t enter so at least I have that going for me.

If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small, Proverbs 24:10.

Whether you’re an athletic, student or worker, certain things come much natural to gifted individuals.  Although it might seem unfair, the disadvantaged are forced to become tougher through failure.  Like the line by Tom Hanks in A League of Their Own, “If it was easy, everyone would do it; hard is what makes it great” in reference to baseball.  As for me, I may not have the experience, talent or skill, yet I will continue to grind it out, yearning to fulfill God’s will for my life.

by Jay Mankus

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