By Breanna Olaveson, Contributor


Language is a powerful tool. If you visit a foreign country, a basic understanding of the language will make your experience so much better. If you are caring for a small child, an understanding of the child’s babbling will make life much easier. If you’re texting an acronym-using teenager, you’ll need to know what the acronyms mean in order to understand what they’re actually saying.

You could say the language of modern life is noise. Many people today believe that the busier a person’s day, the more notifications come to a person’s phone, the more information a person processes or the more money a person makes, the better off that person is. Noise is an indicator of something happening. Noise is the language of our world.

It’s also overrated. Rumi, a noted 13th-century Persian poet and theologian, once said, “Silence is the language of God; all else is poor translation.” Stillness is the language of the soul.

Though it may be difficult to schedule, a moment of silence each day can help us re-evaluate our lives, process our emotions, eliminate stress and reconnect with our faith. In the quiet, our minds can focus on things that matter most. We can consider our beliefs, our fears and how authentically we are living what we believe.

But silence doesn’t need to be lengthy to be effective. A brief silence during a conversation can work wonders. When we are angry, a brief pause before we speak can prevent future regret. When someone asks a difficult question, allowing a brief silence can help you formulate your thoughts. When you’re listening to someone, letting silence remain when they finish might encourage him or her to say something more. When you want to communicate with God, turn off the noise and be still.

These habits take time. But for now, we can shut off the TV. We can pause the music. We can create stillness in our minds — and then listen.

Breanna is the author of one book, the mother of two daughters, and a frequent contributor to several faith-based magazines and blogs. She blogs about her faith, her family, and her favorite things at