Ruthless Elimination of Hurry – Discussion Guide 5


There is a PDF version of this Discussion Guide here.


Chapter 5 Silence and Solitude. 

Review, Reflect and Discuss

Feel free to comment and raise any questions that occur to you as you read. Don’t be limited to the questions listed after each summary, but they might help to prime your thinking.

Chapter 6 –  reflecting on the digital distraction that has robbed us of the opportunity and ability to be bored, especially for young adults, JMC argues that such distraction stops us from being present to the moment, to God, to others, to the world and our own souls. He argues that the practice from Jesus’ life that most helps us with this is the practice of silence and solitude. He examines the many time it mentions in the gospels that Jesus went to a desert, a mountain, quiet place – an ‘eremos’, how often ‘Jesus withdrew.’ It was a top priority for him. The busier he became, the more he got time alone. He then reflects on the ancient spiritual discipline of silence and solitude. He points out there is both external and internal silence. The problem is we sometimes use external noise to drown out the internal noise. He also distinguishes between solitude and isolation, or loneliness. Quoting some spiritual heroes, he argues for how absolutely vital this practice is, listing the consequences when we don’t practice it and the benefits when we do. He sees the current emphasis on mindfulness as an example of the secular world tapping into the benefits of this ancient discipline. He ends by encouraging a return to ‘the quiet time’. 

  • Do you find yourself affected by ‘digital distraction?’ What other things bring noise and distraction into your life?
  • Do you ever use ‘external noise’ to drown out ‘internal noise? What is the internal noise for you?
  • Why do you think JMC argues this discipline is so essential?
  • What would it look like for you to start practising this discipline?


We are taking each of the four core practices one at a time. So for next time just read Chapter 7 – Sabbath

More to read


  1. Sonya Shotter

    I love this chapter. In answer to the first question, Yes! often…. however since reading this book I find myself often now asking the question of myself, do I need to look at this now? I often reach for the radio when I get in the car but then find a check in my spirit as I ask God, shall I use this time to listen to you? I actually quite like the silence where I can turn my many thoughts over with God or just sit and listen.

    I like this phrase, ‘in seasons of busyness we need more time in the quiet place, not less, definitely not less’ and ‘ your relationship to God is no different than any other relationship- it takes time alone together’. I like how the author talks about how in a quiet time we can feel a whole gamut of emotions with God so that rather than ‘leaking out on those we love most, it’s exposed in the safe place of the Father’s love and voice’ and then we can sense him ‘speak his love over us’.

    The author makes the quiet time so inviting when he says ‘I wouldn’t miss it for the world and I’m not even a morning person’! And I love that he says, if it doesn’t go that well. ‘I’ll be back same time tomorrow’ How attractive is that!!

    • Trevor Lloyd

      Love these reflections Sonya and I can relate to so many – the times when it is easier to use noise and busyness to distract myself rather than take time to intentionally turn to God.

  2. Paul Symonds

    I also find myself reaching for the radio, or phone, or podcast, whenever I’m on my own. I don’t particularly like my own company and I like to have something going on in the background so that I don’t have to be alone with myself too much.
    During the 3-week fast, I swapped my food fast for an iPhone game fast, as I thought it would probably do more towards achieving the goal of spending more time with God – and I was right. I just uninstalled the 2 or 3 solitaire-type games that I automatically reached for whenever I had a spare couple of minutes, and instead talked to God in those times. It worked well and I haven’t reinstalled the games.

    • Trevor Lloyd

      Brilliant, practical and challenging testimony. I don’t use games so much but can easily choose to distract myself with other things – TV, internet browsing, easy reading, music etc. I wonder f he we got to spend more time in God’s company and see ourselves as he sees us, we might start to enjoy our own company more too.!


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