...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.
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.