Mark Affleck

Pop-Up Ads For A Cruise Robbed My SILENCE

February 11, 2021
Spiritual Growth

Yesterday I was sitting on the sofa with my laptop connecting two scarred but sturdy knees and tossing talk radio up to my half-listening ears. I was startled out of that state when a commercial began playing behind its amped-up volume and screeching noise. And then a pop-up video  for a Mediterranean Cruise began to play in response to an earlier Google search I made for “impacts on travel during COVID.” Oh brother.
The combination of noise and images sent me scrambling to click out of everything and contemplate the world’s NOISE and a Christian’s need for SILENCE.
It did not take long to land on the obvious: the world is noisy and Christians need to escape it to find silence. But that seemed too easy so I kept drilling to find a deeper message inside the NOISE/SILENCE thread.
I quickly landed on a fresh angle in the form of this question–WHAT IS SILENCE?
Is silence when we hear NOTHING and think NOTHING? I don’t think so. It’s hard to think of NOTHING. Even if we escape the world’s noise and find the solace of silence, we will still “hear” our thoughts. In many cases we have simply replaced the world’s noise with our own.
There is the option of chanting nothingness to tamp down our mind’s restive musings. But this does not take us away from messages delivered inside noise and take us to the peace found inside silence.
So if silence is not hearing and thinking nothing and not chanting, then what is it?
SILENCE is being still in the presence of God and listening for his wisdom and direction so we can connect with, worship, and glorify the Lord of Heaven and earth.
The goal behind shutting out the world’s noise is not to hear OUR thoughts. The goal is to hear GOD’S thoughts and allow them to inform and animate our response to the world’s noise. To remind us of his grace. To bring us back to the Cross that set us free.
I ask God to help me escape the world’s noise and find silence that leads me to HIM.
How will you escape the next blast of NOISE from the world? What will you do with the SILENCE?
“But I have calmed and quieted myself, I am like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child I am content. Israel, put your hope in the LORD both now and forevermore. Psalm 131:2–3

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