the-snowman.jpgOn Sunday, we showed the youth the Nooma DVD – Noise. They coped remarkably well with a dominantly reading-the-screen type of movie. It is about silence. We managed 5-10 minutes of it afterwards.

I don’t make a habit of silence, not a set habit anyway. I can sit at home for hours in front of a computer screen with or without music on, but it doesn’t count. I am the kind of person that gets so utterly engrossed in something that I lose track of everything. Making an effort to be silent I do not think includes letting myself be so engrossed that I forget to listen to that nothing. To just be.

I picked up a book a bought ages ago about Youth Spirituality. Oddly enough it was full of all the stuff I’d been looking up online (stations/labyrinth). There was a section on silence.

So I did it. For an hour. I didn’t limit myself too much, I could do roughly what I wanted. No music, no computer. I could read (and I did) and not just Christian stuff, I could write (and I did), I could sit (and I did), I could pray (and I did).

It felt long. But it felt different.

Did God speak? Perhaps. If he did it was about disciplines in general.

On consideration, my rock solid discipline for the past few years has been blogging. This has probably been better for me than I realise. Ultimately, it tells me that I can be an extremely disciplined person. The sad thing is that this disciplined part of myself doesn’t extend much further.

So I was thinking about what does discipline actually mean? And how is it different from simply living an organised life and is it just the specific ‘God’ stuff? And how I don’t think good discipline necessarily is just the prayer/silence stuff and about how perhaps it’s more about a mental shift and an application of yourself to somethin.?

I’m not sure though.

I’d like to try and be more disciplined this year in all kinds of areas, however it seems that it would be far too easy for it to slip in to me just getting into a freakishly organised life (which has happened before in stints) for a while.

So, what is the difference. What are good things to be disciplined about?


  1. Training expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behavior, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement.
  2. A set of rules or methods, as those regulating the practice of a church or monastic order.
  3. A branch of knowledge or teaching.

After my bout of silence, I put on a movie called ‘The Snowman’ by Raymond Briggs. He is a cartoonist but these are animated short films based on his books and set to amazing music.

In essence, it gave me an extra half hour of silence. There was music and image: it was a boy’s quiet adventure. It begins at home where simple things are delightful. The boy and the snowman share each other’s worlds, fly across snowfields and party with other snowmen, at the end the boy is left with only the reminder of a scarf and that is all. His snowman creation came alive and gave him more of life for a short time, you don’t know the implications.

It was interesting.


  1. said:

    Yep it was good the Nooma ‘Noise’, I think that Christina spoke about this at church but I can’t remember what she said…Its late.
    One of the things that I would like to look at more is the whole idea of disciples of orders such as benadictine, or Jesuits etc, etc. I’m sure that a lot of their traditions would be helpful with Spiritual formation.
    Yet I’m also weary how disiplines may become legalistic in a way.
    Like your thoughts, keep it up.

    February 21, 2008
  2. said:

    Thanks for visiting us, Rebecca. I’m going to try on some silence for size this weekend.

    p.s. You’re adorable.

    February 22, 2008

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