Here are some words from Rob Bell’s video, Noise.

“Why is silence so hard to deal with? Why is it so much easier for us to live our lives with a lot of things going on all the time than to just be in silence? We’re constantly surrounded with “voices” that are influencing us on how to think, feel, and behave. Movies, music, TV, Internet, cell phones, and a never-ending barrage of advertising. There’s always something going on. Always noise in our lives. But maybe there’s a connection between the amount of noise in our lives and our inability to hear God. If God sometimes feels distant to us, maybe it’s not because he’s not talking to us, but simply because we aren’t really listening.”

Hhhmmm.  Sound familiar?  Perhaps hitting a little too close to home for comfort?  Boy, it sure does for me.  Especially, since I like to hear myself talk too much.  (If you know me, you don’t have to be quite so quick to agree!).

But, I will tell you this.  When this last piece of the Five-S puzzle falls into place, then you have a transformational experience that is unforgettable.  It is both amazing and sometimes scary to see what life has brought to me and for me when I have (1) retreated to a sanctuary; (2) found solitude; (3) taken a sabbatical; (4) sat in stillness; and (5) practiced silence.  Oh my!

Check this out if you want more info about the Noise video.

David Miller Initials



I like this slightly edited (by me) definition from one of the online dictionaries.  Hope you do, too.

“Absence of noise or disturbance, release, relaxation; silence, abstention from speech; absence of disturbance or molestation, tranquility, peace, security; that which appeases”.

This “S” is hard, too.  I know.  But I got to wondering as I wrote about the Five S’s that if the reason they are so powerful, especially if used in combination, is because they are indeed difficult to practice.  I think that may especially be true for people with leadership responsibilities.

But then, I also thought about the adage “anything worth having is worth working for”.  Well, putting all these S’s in practice may be work, but this one…being still… is NOT working.  In fact, it’s the absence of work for a while.

At the risk that you might like this guy’s blog better than mine, I am sharing this link with you anyway because (1) I like the picture in it and (2) he makes some excellent points, and (3) he gives us some additional resources.  Actually, Mr. Hyatt is just good at what he does! Thanks, Michael.  Maybe we can meet someday…

Now, be still.  Just for a little while…be com – plete – ly still.

David Miller Initials


The main Bible passage for sabbatical concepts is Genesis 2:2-3, in which God rested (literally, “ceased” from his labor) after creating the universe.  It is applied to people (Jew and Gentile, slave and free) and even to beasts of burden in one of the Ten Commandments (Exodus 20:8-11). All agriculture was stopped during these periods, so even the land itself was given a Sabbath.

Are you kidding?  Even the land was given a rest?  I’ve been told to “give it a rest”, but I think they were really just telling me to shut up.  Well, that’s kinda what this whole thing about “sabbatical” is about.  At least that’s the next step in being able to listen internally.

Sabbatical February 2005

For now, don’t think as a sabbatical as taking a month or year or some other time off from work to write a book or complete a research project or travel around the world.  Those may be good activities, but that’s the point…they are activities…as in action.

Once you are in your sanctuary and you are alone in solitude, then simply…stop. S-T-O-P.  Cease.  Quit.

Huh???  Yes.  Just cease what you are doing.

Here is one of the incredible views on my sabbatical from that bamboo hut in the jungle of Costa Rica.  Do you think I would have ever seen it or dozens of other sights or heard the macaws or howler monkeys or surf crashing on the rocks 50 yards from the hut if I hadn’t have stopped being Mr. CEO for a few days????  Nope.

David Miller Initials