We live in a noisy world.
Not long ago, as I sat at my desk to work, I became aware of the theme from Family Feud playing. I knew it couldn’t be coming
from our little apartment since we owned no TV or loudspeakers, plus I was home alone. When the floor started vibrating from the loud frequencies, it dawned on me that the sound was coming from our downstairs neighbors, who often turned the television all the way up.
I relocated to my husband’s empty office, and not seconds after I made myself comfortable in his cushy swivel chair, a car alarm
sounded. It rang through the air for a good while before being shut off. A truck then sped out of the neighboring community. I
hoped the driver wasn’t trying to be stealthy because the whole block easily heard it.
I thought that—just maybe—it was now my turn. My turn to have silence. However, people across the way started shouting, and a convenience store truck (I didn’t even know those existed) started driving around wailing “The Entertainer” out of its built-in speakers. The downstairs neighbors started wrestling elephants, and an exceptionally long train drove by. Judging from the duration of the tones, I guessed that each train car had its own horn to toot.
We live in a noisy world—or at least I do.
Everywhere we go, noise bombards us. Music shouts from speakers in malls and croons to us in coffee shops. Passing
vehicles offer their own purrs and vibrations. If your computer is anything like mine, it emits an almost constant breathy hum
(maybe I should get that checked out . . . ). Sometimes we create noise to muffle other noises—placing headphones over our
ears or turning on fans at night to create white noise. Studies show that so much noise pollution might lead to higher blood
pressure and increased risk of heart attacks.
Ears are not the only body parts affected by noise. Billboards bombard our eyes, as do magazine covers at the grocery checkout
and all those texts, emails, and Facebook notifications. Product labels scream at us. Our noses constantly pick up aromas of exhaust, greasy food, perfumes, and plastics. Our minds are drowning in information as they process everything we take in, barely stopping for a break.
We live in a noisy world. Do you?
At one time in my life, noise was a constant friend. I could not stand not having something turned on in the background to keep me company, and every surface of my living space was filled.
It took me years to realize the sweetness of a peaceful moment. Now I take the time to seek silence. When I do this, my thoughts come back clearly and remind me that noises and clutter are mere distractions that keep me from hearing the soft and tender voice of God.
If you have been a Christian for a while (or seen those motivational nature pictures with script scrolled across a river), then you have heard or read these words from Psalm 46:10: “Be still, and know that I am God” (NKJV). In such a noisy world, how is that even possible?
I always look to the example of Jesus when faced with such questions. Luke 5:16 says that He “often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed” (NKJV). And Mark 1:35 says that He rose long before sunrise and went to a solitary place to pray.
I don’t know about you, but getting up before the sun is not always appealing to my human nature. However, I never regret spending quiet hours being still and listening to God’s voice in the morning. No mental clutter. No distractions. No noise. I enjoy a certain peace found only in the morning, and the Lord quiets me there with his love (Zephaniah 3:17).
Take some time today, and every day, to be still with the Lord. Know that He is God. And, by meditating on Scripture, learn of Him and follow His example.
We live in a noisy world. Will we be still?