Our Noisy World
He said, "Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by." Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence, When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. 1 Kings 19; 11-13 (NRSV)
Be still and know that I am God! Psalm 46: 10 (NRSV)
Lori Hatcher is from South Carolina. From the time they wake up until the time they go to sleep, they are bombarded with noise. The alarm clock begins the cacophony, giving way to the morning news, the honking traffic, and the blaring radio. Computers and cell phones chirp, beep and ring - constantly demanding their attention. Noise fills their ears and distracts their minds. "I can't even hear myself think!" Lori often exclaims in frustration.
Sadly, the relentless noise doesn't just drown out her thoughts; it also drowns out God's voice. Psalm 46:10 reminds all of us that if we want to experience a firm confidence that God is in control, we must quiet ourselves in spite of the world around us.
This might be as simple as refusing to turn on the TV, radio, or computer on a given day until after we've read our Bible. Or it might mean praying on the way to work instead of listening to music or radio. Taking a few moments for quiet reflection gives us the opportunity to listen for God's voice. Sometimes we can hear God shouting to get our attention; but more often, God speaks in the still, small voice of the Holy Spirit. And that's a sound we never want to miss.
Prayer: Gracious God, help us to quiet ourselves amid the chaos around us so that we can hear your voice more clearly, in Jesus' name. amen.