I love silence in my home. No music, no voices, no tv, no background conversations, no beeps or buzzes from phones or ipads or computers…just quiet.
We live in a noisy world. Visually, electronic billboards flash at us as we drive, vying for our attention. Bright lights litter the night sky, trying to outshine the stars. Sound intrudes from our phones, cars, computers, radios, tv’s, ipods, ipads and mouths. We’re surrounded by stimuli and I think it’s made us a noisy people in every way Or I suppose we noisy people created the noisy world. Either way, I think all this noise isolates us. We can’t hear so we don’t think we’re being heard so we get louder and louder in an attempt to connect. Everyday I witness it: kids in the classroom eagerly interrupting both teachers and fellow students so they can tell their own stories. Yesterday, I swear every kid was carrying on their own conversation and no one was listening to anyone else. Each kid independently telling stories that no one else heard. But it’s not just children. Everywhere people are clamoring in a noisy world trying to be heard above the din: men monopolizing every conversation, consumed with the latest issue with their career; women desperate to talk about their kids or job or opinion; older folks looking for a listening ear so they can share their past and present. Searching for someone who cares, we all just keep talking and talking and talking, hoping that someone eventually picks up our signal and can hear and actually stops long enough to listen.
As Christians, we talk about being Jesus’ hand’s and feet to a hurting world, but maybe today you need to be His ears. Try listening without interjecting or listening without thinking about how you’re going to respond or listening without trying to fix anything.
My challenge to you (and myself) today is simple: talk less, listen more.