Then Moses and the levitical priests spoke to all Israel, saying: Keep silence and hear, O Israel!
Deuteronomy 27:9 (NRSV)
We grow up being continuously hushed.
- Be quiet. Your mom is sleeping.
- Be quiet. Dad and I are trying to watch this.
- I don’t want to hear another word out of you. Go to sleep.
- Be quiet, class. Eyes up here.
- Listen up, team!
The truth is that it’s difficult to hear amidst all the noise. Even Jesus said, “those who have ears to hear, listen to me.” But in order to listen we have to silence, or tune out, all the other noise around us.
I’m not sure that there has been another time in human history that is as noisy as the time we’re living in. We are deluged by noise. Noise from ever present phones that beep, buzz, and blare. Noise from televisions that are constantly on in the background. Noise from endlessly streaming playlists. Noise from planes, trains, and automobiles. The noise, at times, seems never ending.
So, how am I supposed to hear myself think?
How am I supposed to hear what my loved ones are really saying?
How am I supposed to hear God’s still, small voice in my spirit?
Today, as I switch off the satellite music channel playing in my office, I’m thinking about my need for quiet. I’m contemplating the reality of noise becoming an ever present distraction in my life. I wonder how much I miss because even when I try to listen I cannot hear myself, or God through the din.
Today, I’m consciously choosing to hush up, and listen.
featured image: Nuno Martins via Flickr