We all live with a lot of noise. All the noise of our machines, like trucks, automobiles, motorcycles etc. Then there’s the noise that we constantly choose to listen to, since most of us are almost always connected to something. YouTube videos, streaming music, radio, TV. You name it, it’s there twenty-four hours a day, constantly pumping noise into our environment and therefore into our lives.
I’m not just talking about sound either. All the sound we hear plus the constant busy pace of our modern lives added to whatever personal problems we might have can set up a lot of mental and emotional noise like static inside of us. It’s like the news of the soon to be over election – it never ends!
I believe this creates a real problem for us and we should take it seriously. Most of us are moving at a pretty fast pace in life and probably could use a bit of a break. But if you wait for that to happen all by itself, then you’ll probably be waiting for a very long time.
This time of year is a great example as we are entering the most hectic season of all. What we euphemistically call the “holiday season” is anything but a holiday for most of us. Unless of course you mean taking a holiday from your sanity. That might fit. If this is true for those of you who just love the holidays, think how the rest of us feel!
But this isn’t just a holiday season issue either. It’s true all year round for most of us. If you want to have some peace of mind and get a little rest, even if you’re not on vacation, then you’ve got to dial down the noise at least a little bit. Cranking back the noise, whether it’s sound or activities or stress or whatever it might be is a necessity.
Like most things that are good and necessary for us, it won’t just happen on its own. We should be responsible, examine ourselves honestly, and then choose just how much we should dial it down in this particular moment. As we come off the election season and into the holiday season I have a feeling most of us probably need to dial things back a bit further than usual. For a while anyway.
We don’t just need time to think, we also need to be able to hear ourselves when we do think. That requires cutting out the trivial, the extraneous and the just plain annoying to find some peace in our hearts. The things I’m dialing back on right now aren’t bad at all. In fact they are good things. But as the saying goes, good is the enemy of great and too much of almost anything – even chocolate – ends up being bad. See my waistline if you don’t believe me!
So this would probably be a good time to get a grip before the tidal wave of the holidays sweep over you and carry you away. Don’t wait too long, or before you know it you’ll wake up and realize it’s January 2017 and you’ll wonder where Christmas went and what the heck happened.
Believe me, I know this from personal experience. Lots of it actually. I tend to be the kind of person who likes to wait and see what develops. But I’ve learned that in some situations by the time you see what’s developing it’s too late to do too much about it. Preventive action – a preemptive strike – is often the best way to get things in some sort of order.
So either grab that dial and start cranking or make sure you’ve got a good life jacket on before the tsunami hits. Now, where did I put my ear plugs?
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Louie Marsh is pastor of Christ’s Church on the River on the Parker Strip. Visit his website HERE.