Lauren and Mikaela--identical twins living on opposite coasts--blog about the story of life and their adventures in faith.

8.13.2010

Noise Addictions

Hello all!  I'm away from my computer for a few days, so I'm re-publishing a post from November of last year.  It's one of my favorites, so enjoy!

I was around twelve—the oldest sister of six kids, with the youngest boy just born. My twelve year old cousin was over, and she, Mikaela, and I were playing with gusto. It was a wonderful time, but right in the middle of our latest game, my cousin, an only child, piped up with something to say, and I got the impression that she had been deliberating on this comment for most of the evening. “Doesn’t that noise bother you?” she asked. Mikaela and I looked at each other, opened our ears, and realized that our younger siblings were also playing with great gusto in the office right outside of our bedroom. Only their gusto was more like uproarious giggles, simultaneous shouts of delight over their game, and banging away at our toy piano. All at the same time. I hadn’t noticed.

Fast-forward to a few days ago. This has been the gold standard of hectic weeks, and my time to do school has been short and precious. I sat down to concentrate and turned on some (Christmas!) music in the background while I worked. It was a few minutes later before I realized that I was getting distracted from the work at hand with the exuberant music playing in my ear. Why exactly was I trying so hard to multitask? So I turned the music off and listened to the silence.

This is what I heard: in our house, silence is rare. Inside, every door is a swinging one, and noise abounds. Even if you go outside, there is always a rooster crowing or a tree cracking or a lawnmower roaring. To me, these sounds are beautiful, but I am painfully aware that these beautiful sounds are drowned out by other sounds that aren’t quite so lovely. A bird’s-eye view of our society in general reveals that we are almost addicted to noise. We can't go for an hour without turning on the radio, the TV, the headphones, the sound effects—we are surrounded by noise and sound! I’m not talking about the kind of lovely noise that bothered my cousin but the noise of all this entertainment--noise pollution.

All of this “artificial” noise is as detrimental as going without sleep, because it occupies our heads with peripheral things when we should really be using the time to meditate and communicate with God. Headphones, roosters, idle chatter, roosters, (-: and television are huge inhibitors to deep, meaningful time with God. The great men of Scripture? How often did they put in their 8-track tapes when they were bouncing down the road on a camel? I can verify they never did—instead, I imagine them talking with God as they trekked between towns.

Scripture speaks often of the importance of silence. Ecclesiastes 3:7b says, “A time to keep silence, and a time to speak.” Habbakuk 2:20 offers an even more compelling picture: “But the LORD is in his holy temple: let all the earth keep silence before him.” I Timothy 4:15 promises that whatever sacrifice we make in order to have this time with God is worth it: “Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.” So turn off the radio in the car—talk to God. Turn off the phone—talk to God. Take out the headphones—talk to God. Your soul will thank you.

Another benefit? When we take the time to realize the beauty of silence we can once again appreciate the beauty of sound. Today I am going to revel in silence, and a week from today I’m going to equally enjoy the sound of nineteen people in the house. We’ll have glasses clinking, laughter to the rooftop, and lots of conversation—talking about God.

Picture Credit

2 comments:

  1. I so agree! We always put on our music to listen to at my house and lots of times I have to turn it off after doing so. I need to commune with my Father! I always have to set aside the time and at the beginnging of the day say Lord help me to listen to your voice and not all the noises around me. Thanks for this wonderful reminder! Its well needed!

    In Christ,
    Rebecca

    ReplyDelete
  2. 100% true. We should take time for everything and God should be on the priority list.

    ReplyDelete

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