Noise. Our lives are full of noise.
Not just the beautiful noise that comes with a home full of children, but our modern noise: the bombardment of advertisement when we drive down the road, shop, or watch football; the noise of constant, instant social media; the subtle urge to always be busy with something.
“Be still and know that I am God,” the psalmist said.
Like most modern Americans, I don’t like being still. Thanks to modern technology we are rarely ever forced to be still. We don’t have to stop our work as the sun goes down and gaze at the starts (or go to sleep.) Instead we can fill the hours of our days full-to-overflowing.
Constant entertainment, constant interaction (but not necessarily with the people in the room with us), and the constant need to be productive make the beauty of stillness hard to appreciate. We are conditioned to stay “plugged in” from the moment we get up till the moment we go back to bed.
This constant noise is one of the ways we deaden imagination and keep ourselves trapped in the moment. When our minds are filled with a steady stream of modern noise…
- We aren’t forced to contemplate the past or future.
- We hardly have time to pause and be grateful for the blessings we’ve been given.
- We are too busy plunging from one activity to the next, to praise God for orchestrating each detail of our little lives.
- We are too caught up with shallow things to acknowledge God’s sovereignty over the vastness of eternity.
Practical ways to silence the kingdom of noise
Silencing the kingdom of noise isn’t easy, but it’s worth every effort. There are many ways to silence the kingdom of noise, these are a few of my favorite.
Soaking in the beauty of nature is one of the best ways to silence the kingdom of noise. I’d venture a bet that our generation spends less time enjoying nature than any previous generation. We simply aren’t forced to. We have bigger houses and more indoor entertainment than ever before. We have to make enjoying nature a conscious choice.
We have to choose to plant a garden, take leisurely nature walks, play outside, or simply sit still and enjoy God’s creation.
Plan times to unplug
Unplugging is harder today than ever before. You don’t have to pull out a laptop anymore to stay updated with the latest noise. This makes being intentional about unplugging even more important.
Whether you unplug for a whole day each week or have set times throughout the day, regularly choosing to unplug is essential if we want to silence the kingdom of noise.
Learn to say “No!”
Saying “No!” isn’t fun or easy, but if we want to have time to enjoy the things that are most important in our lives, we have to learn when to say “No!” There simply isn’t enough time in a day to do everything.
Soak in what’s happening around you
I don’t know about you, but I’ve been guilty of staring into a screen instead of really listening to my daughter’s story or watching my son’s new trick. Take time to be still and soak in what’s happening around you, whether it’s watching a squirrel dance up a tree or cuddling on the couch to read a story to the kids.
Prioritize time with God
There are a million urgent things that try to squeeze out the eternal, but make time to “be still and know” that He is God: worship with the saints, read the Word, sing, commune with the living God, and take advantage of the day He gave us to rest and celebrate .
Silencing the Kingdom of Noise
Don’t let our modern noise crowd out the eternal. Instead of reaching for the noise of a smartphone or laptop anytime there is a down moment, pause to “be still and know” that our Lord Jesus is King.
Originally published December 2013