Noise. Our lives are full of noise.
I don’t mean the noise that comes from having a home full of healthy and happy children building blanket tents or having sword fights in the backyard.
I mean 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.”
Most modern Americans don’t like being still. We don’t normally stop our work as the sun goes down and gaze in silent wonder at the stars before we go to bed. Instead we 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.
This constant noise is one of the ways we can deaden imagination and keep ourselves trapped in the moment, says Esolen facetiously in his excellent book Ten Ways to Destroy the Imagination of Your Child. When our minds are filled with a steady stream of noise, the noise keeps us consumed with the present. We aren’t forced to contemplate the past or future. We’re too caught up with shallow things to acknowledge God’s sovereignty over the vastness of eternity. We’re too busy plunging from one activity to the next to praise Him for orchestrating the minute details of our little lives.
Esolen’s words convicted me of just how quickly I reach for the “noise” of my smart phone or laptop whenever I have a down moment. There’s a right place for social media (I have been highly blessed through it) but there’s also a time to turn it off and embrace the stillness.
We should take time in our busy modern world to “be still and know” that our God reigns.
[Full disclosure: links to products in this post are my referral links.]