Turn Down the Noise

Man wearing headphones.

How thankful can we be when we are able to breathe after an overwhelming day? We all need a moment to catch our breath when our mind is rambling and tripping over itself because it’s told to run left and right and left and left and right. You get the idea. I recently graduated and thought that I was done having a fried brain now that I don’t have any school work, but boy, was I wrong.

As today’s technology progresses, I have seen a habit grow where I am always seeking some form of information consumption at every breathing moment. Podcast here and there, sermons, YouTube videos, music, and so on. It becomes unhealthy when that is all that I do even if they aren’t necessarily bad.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

Now that I have become so preoccupied with all of this media intake, I sometimes feel like I can’t breathe. And thinking of breathing in a literal sense, if you try to breathe in oxygen, there is only so much that can be ingested into our lungs before we have to produce carbon dioxide for plants to then start the process again. If you try to only breath in, you will suffocate. This also correlates with information. We need to pour out some of that information in some form or another. You won’t think straight. It gets overwhelming to try and think so much without talking to someone or writing it down as I am doing here.

When someone holds a sniper rifle during a hunt or in war and they go through many things to get ready to shoot their target. I want to give a disclaimer that I have never shot a sniper rifle, but I’ve seen American Sniper and played enough video games to understand how it works (I know that doesn’t mean much). While sniping, the focus of attention and stability is achieved by catching your breath and removing anything that will hinder you from that accuracy. In that same manner, we need to flee from distractions to be able to center our attention and focus on necessary things like being with God.

This has become an issue for me as I noticed the decline of moments in silence and meditation with God. I forget that I am constantly with Him and that part of having a relationship with Him is being able to converse with Him. I have mentioned in a previous post that I want to take the initiative and understand prayer more because I noticed that those moments are lacking in my life.

After a day of running (figuratively) and consuming so many things, our vision of God is blurred.

We all have heard of how funny it can be when we are driving to a friend’s house and as we arrive at the street where they live, we will pause or turn down the volume of whatever is playing to look for the number on the house. It doesn’t make sense that we have to reduce the attention of other senses, like hearing, to be able to see better. We need to find clarity from other areas of our lives to focus on God in that same manner. Clarity is gone when there is noise in our life.

Car radio.

What are we avoiding?

Sometimes, we do the exact opposite when we don’t necessarily want to focus and draw near to God. What caused me to want to write about this was a podcast by the name of “Dad Tired“. The host, Jerrad Lopes, talks about a woman who whenever she would hear an unfamiliar noise come from her car, she would turn up the volume. She knew something was wrong with the car, yet she didn’t want to deal with it. Imagine if we did that with sin in our life? The problem is that it already happens. When there is some pain, an addiction, or any sort of regret, we turn up the noise even more. We try to mask it with some other things in life. For me, it’s entertainment. I don’t want to remember that I am lacking goodness in my life so I will go to many of the things mentioned above.

Lopes brings up the story of Adam and Eve. Right after they partook in eating the forbidden fruit, they wanted to mask the problem by hiding. “If we don’t mention anything, it will be fine.” Just like the woman in her car, she thought that if she ignored the problem, it would go away.

But God won’t let us fall through that. God responds to Adam and Eve by seeking for them. “Where are you?” In God’s highly relational character, He wants us to talk to Him.

Or do you have contempt for the wealth of his kindness, forbearance, and patience, and yet do not know that God’s kindness leads you to repentance?

Romans 2:4

Challenge Accepted.

I decided to challenge myself and try to find those moments of silence with God as Lopes suggested. Those moments where I have to face what God might say in the silence, where I have to confront Him with all the crap I tried to carry throughout the day.

I started with the small moments in my daily life. I had the habit of listening to music or a podcast while I got ready in the morning or showered at night. It’s so refreshing to let your mind actually do some thinking when you avoid those things. Those were moments where I am grateful for what God has done in my life. I then added every other commute to or from work to the list. Trust me when I say this; these small moments make a difference in your day!

I challenge you to take a step of silence with me. Seek a moment to just be with the Lord. That doesn’t always mean making a time for a longer prayer (even though those are necessary, too). Just sit, breath, and wait to see what God wants to tell you.

“22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. 23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.”

– Lamentation 3:22-23

Every day is a new day to try something new and to make your relationship with God so much better. Don’t be afraid of what may happen if you sit in moments of silence. These moments are not always comforting because it is so easy to just pick up your phone or turn on your tv. Being quiet is a rare thing for us. We need to learn to be still in heart and mind.

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