I read Mark Driscoll's article here - and thought "That's me". I've used it as the basis for this article for the local newspaper.
Addicted to noise?
It was a very normal day until I realized that I was actively destroying my own soul.
The day began with my alarm jolting me from sleep. I went down the stairs and as I went into the study I switched on the computer to hear it ping with e-mail that had been left while I slept. Then I stepped into the shower where I listened to my waterproof radio.
Throughout the day the computer frequently pinged at me to tell me that email had arrived, or that someone I knew had logged on to Microsoft Messenger. As I tried to work the phone rang almost constantly. Lunchtime came and I headed out on the bike, putting on my iPod to listen to some music.
Back for lunch I turned on the TV to catch the headlines and then headed out in the car to do some visits. I flicked on the radio to give me something to listen to as I drove. While I was out, the mobile rang and beeped at me to tell me of missed calls and incoming text messages. After coming back in from a meeting that evening I flicked channels on the TV for a half an hour to find something worth watching before going to bed.
As I drifted off to sleep, it dawned on me that I had hardly a minute of silence during my entire day. I suspect I’m not the alone in this. Many go out walking or jogging with earphones in; everywhere you go there’s a radio on – or music is being piped in from somewhere. Even in our relationships with friends we find the need to talk rather than just enjoy the silence.
We have become addicted to the unholy trinity of Hurry, Worry and Noisy.
Are we afraid of silence? What would happen if we had a moment or two of silence? It might be that we would actually start to think of the important and not just the urgent. Noise keeps us focused on the present – calls to answer, events that are happening. It keeps us focused largely on the trivial – how often is there something of life-changing importance discussed on the radio? Fairly infrequently.
It is in the silences of life that our mind is freed from the tyranny of the present and set free to plan for the future. But it isn’t silence in itself that is important – it is what we do with the silence. In Psalm 46:10 God says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
This is why we need silence, and pause in life – to hear what God is saying to us. It’s possible that God has been trying to say some very important things to you, things that would bring sense to your swirling world – but you can’t hear Him because of all the noise, and hurry and worry.
God says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”