The other day during a quick run on the treadmill, I was having a conversation with God and it went something like this..
Me- “God, I know you are there but you sure have been quiet lately. What’s going on?”
Me- ” I know, I know…it’s not you, it’s me. But hello, I’d love to have your input on somethings.”
*my attention is directed to the volume up and volume down buttons on my treadmill*
God- “You need to turn down the “noise” coming from all the other things in your life that try to crowd me out in order to hear me.”
Well, ok God. I am listening, you now have my attention. Ever since that convo these following words keep popping up everywhere…”noise,” “listening,” “quiet,” and “hear.” In fact, a few days after all this went down, I was watching Disney’s Lion Guard with my kids and one of the characters said, “The hardest part of listening, is finding the quiet to hear.” Um, wow! Truth being spoken by a Disney cartoon character.
So I started thinking, what are some of the things in my life that cause the most “noise?” Very quickly, social media popped in my head. How often do I reach for my phone when I am bored, overwhelmed by the chaos surrounding me or simply wanting to wind down at night and choose to peruse social media? More often than I would like to admit that’s for sure. Instead of just sitting in the quiet, I turn to social media to fill my mind with more “noise” than is necessary. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good recipe shared on Facebook or a blog with helpful tips on parenting and while these things aren’t bad, I have to wonder are they necessarily good when we are gorging ourselves on them 24/7? In an attempt to escape the “noise” in my life by tuning out whatever is going on in real-time around me and turning up what is out in cyber world, I am actually only adding to the noise in my life instead of eliminating it. The more access we have to information, and let’s be honest we have plenty of it, the louder the “noise” is in our life and the less we can hear God speaking to us.
The second and probably the biggest “noise” maker in my life and very likely in yours as well, is other people’s opinions of me. Goodness gracious, how often do other people’s opinions of me create so much “noise” that it drowns out what I know to be true; WHO I am and WHOSE I am. We allow other people’s opinions to dictate a majority of our lives. For example, “What will so-and-so think if I ________” you can fill in the blank. In fact, I have a dear friend who is in the throes of making a big life changing decision and she keeps going back and forth in her mind. I finally asked her, “What is God whispering to you?” and you know what she said, to stop listening to everyone else’s opinion. We forfeit what we know to be true, for the “noise” coming from everyone else. I’ve been reading Love Lives Here by Maria Goff and this book is packed with so many nuggets of truth that my highlighter as nearly run out of ink. She touches on this subject of noise, specifically the noise coming from other people. She says, “I stopped listening to the loudest voices in my life and started listening to the truest ones…I picked a few people to listen to on purpose rather than listening to many people by accident.” Are there people already in your life that challenge you and encourage you to run YOUR race? People whose voices you trust? If so, these are your people. Allow them to speak the hard truth and lovely truth to you and let all other voices fade in the back ground. I love what Maria says as she closes the chapter, “Sometimes our lives feel a lot like the stock market floor. The way God operates is really quite different. His plan from the beginning of time was that love wouldn’t be traded among the noises in our lives; it would be understood in the places of peace. Sometimes when we’re asking Him for an answer, He sends a friend.”
What things/people are causing the most “noise” in your life? How can you turn them down or scale them back in order to lean into the quiet and hear God’s voice?