The world is so loud.
Everything screams for my attention at a pitch calculated to drown out any competitors. Flashy graphics, vivid colors, and high resolutions all plead for my direct line of sight while high fidelity, catchy riffs, and novel sound bites all jockey for an audience with my ear drums.
If I have a thought to share, I can pin it. I can post it. I can tweet it, blog it, message it, forward it—and then tap into the feeds of a million peers doing exactly the same. Should I miss anything important, my faithful smartphone will make certain to let me know with a combination of blinking lights and unmistakable beeps upon my return.
Not that I often find myself disconnected. The air is literally filled with radio waves connecting an incomprehensible array of electronic devices into one vast worldwide network. Any computer, tablet, smartphone, or relatively advanced coffee maker can become a gateway to the Internet and flood our synapses with page after page of status updates, trending videos, breaking news, and pictures of kittens. It’s all so…
I can’t hear over it, I can’t see past it, and I can’t think through it. So many things demanding my attention at every turn, and those in addition to the daily responsibilities of life.
Loud loud loud.
But that’s not the way God talks. Sure, at times He roars like a lion (Hosea 11:10). At times He speaks with thunderings and trumpets (Exodus 20:19). But I’ve found in my personal experience that God isn’t going to continually shout above the noise to get my attention. Instead He chooses to speak first with “a still small voice” (1 Kings 19:12-13)—something not audible above all the flashing lights and beeping notifications in which I’m awash.
But that still small voice has things to say of so much more value than all the notifications in the world. Those words are more important that all the things begging for my attention—but to hear a quiet voice, I first have to quiet myself. I have to step away from the noise without and within. I have to sit down at the feet of the Master of the universe and just listen.
I’m still learning how to do that. Sometimes it means carving out an extra chunk of time, waking up early to read His words and telling the world to wait. Sometimes it means switching the Wi-Fi off so the temptation to check Facebook for the five billionth time this minute isn’t there. Sometimes it means conversing with good friends about the things we’re each learning. It means a lot of different things, but the core is always the same. The world needs to wait, because the eternal words of God shouldn’t have to.
What it comes down to for me is this: There are a lot of things out there that engage my attention, but there are so few things that have a right to my attention. The world makes a habit of shouting over the one voice I really need to be listening to, and not by accident. There’s a being that doesn’t want me or anyone else to hear that voice; a being who seeks to drown it out with a world of noise. And even though I can’t convince that world to leave me alone, I can make the choice to leave it alone.
Because there is a still small voice that is asking for my attention. And I need to hear it.
Until next time,