November 21, 2012

Reducing the Noise Revisited

The holiday season is full of noise. These questions may be harder to ask ourselves during this time, but they are perhaps even more necessary.

...aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you, so that you may walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.
~1 Thess. 4:11-12

I've been pondering the quiet life and its ever-decreasing value in society.  Noise has drowned out our craving for quiet.  

                              Email.

                              Blogs.

                             Facebook.

                             Twitter.

                             Smart phones.

                             24-hour news networks.

                             Hundreds of television channels.

We have unlimited access to information, unfettered interaction with people near and far. But at what price? We've become desensitized to the constant droning around us. We are uncomfortable with face-to-face contact. We have exchanged flesh and blood for pixels and gigabytes.

Noise reigns in our lives.

Merriam-Webster defines noise
any sound that is undesired or interferes with one's hearing of something; irrelevant or meaningless data or output occurring along with desired information.
Keeping this in mind, these are the questions I want to ask myself - thinking on long and hard - as I seek the quiet life:

Is this interfering with my hearing God? I must guard my time in His Word before spending time in the words of others, no matter the source.

Is this interfering with my hearing my family? I must also guard my time with my family. I cannot forsake my responsibilities to love and minister to them.

Is this relevant in God's Kingdom? I must gauge the importance of the information I'm consuming in light of eternity.

Is this encouraging and helpful in my walk with the Lord?  I must accurately assess its influence upon my willingness to live for God's agenda rather than my own.

Some of the answers may surprise me. Watching Ina Garten may inspire me to try a new dinner that knocks my man's socks off. Reading so many Christian blogs may be pulling me away from spending time in God's Word or from meeting my family's needs. I don't know what it will look like, but I truly believe that asking myself these questions before I read, listen, or watch will have a tremendous impact on the noise level in my life.

4 comments:

Kim Shay said...

Wise words. Thanks for sharing them.

Melissa Deming said...

Loved this reminder - especially during the holidays! We're busy enough without considering God's agenda, and added noise makes it even more difficult to hear his voice.

Modern Day Disciple said...

I like the way you are thinking. I have been thinking the same thoughts and are glad to find you...balance my friend is something that is never really attained after all, I think! But the seeking it and desiring it speak volumes in the ability to have it at all. Seeking that balance with you as we approach the busy and noisy season! I am looking forward to a lovely Advent read coming in the mail today: God in the Manger (Bonhoeffer). May we Him at the center of our being to balance us in the days ahead! In His Grace, Dawn

nive said...

Wow..this is so timely..i like how you referenced reading so many inspiring christian blogs and Ina's show(the foodie that i am,it resonates very closely) that it might be hindering my own uncluttered quiet time with my Almighty.Guilty of both and other social media accounts,i would certainly be pondering on it.Something gotta change here.