Monday, April 22, 2013


Bose noise-cancelling headphones
Bose noise-cancelling headphones (Photo credit: eszter)

I HAVE RECENTLY ACQUIRED A PAIR OF BOSE NOISE-CANCELLING HEADPHONES. Believe it or not they really work quite well. I got this headset to help me find some quiet within my study at church. The truth is I am little too nosey and when I hear some chatter from the outer office my mind gets drawn away from my sermon and Bible study preparation. It has been said that for every interruption in the course of study it takes 10-15 minutes to get back into the groove. Is it any wonder that my sermons are disjointed at times and it seems to take forever to get the responsibility of study completed?
I had my doubts as to whether or not the headphones would really cancel out sounds, but the technology is quite amazing. What truly grabbed my attention at first was the sounds that were missing. (DUH! That’s what’s supposed to happen.)  I mean, we seldom realize the amount of incessant noise that encompasses our lives. The hum of the computer fan, the heater vent expelling warmed air, the telephone conversations in the other room, the cars whizzing by on Graham Hill Road, the copy machine churning away, not to mention the happy conversations and laughter that too often fill the halls of our church offices. (We really do have a fun place to work!) The noise is everywhere pulling at my mind, distracting me from the task of rightly dividing the Word of Truth. If I didn't know better I would say it was almost demonic…nah!
Stained glass window 2
Stained glass window 2 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Now here’s the interesting thing; you can put on the noise-cancelling headset, turn on the switch, and hear the noise drop away (not completely, but truly noticeable) and yet I am left with the incessant chatter within my own head. There are a thousand thoughts vying for my attention, the noise within is almost as disturbing as the noise without. It truly becomes a spiritual discipline to learn to discern through the incessant chatter the true voice of the Spirit, but He is there and He is speaking, and many times it is through the cluttered chatter that fills my head. The gift is learning to discern through the noise. As Carl McColman refers to in his book, Answering the Contemplative Call, we cannot look directly at the sun lest we blind ourselves, but put a stained-glass window between us and the bright rays of the sun and we can discern an entirely new story.

Noise will forever be with us, even in the deepest jungle, the highest mountain or the most secluded closet, noise will be there. The key is learning to hear the voice of God through the noise, in the noise. For God is always speaking, if we care to listen. Are we?

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you. These thoughts have truly touched my soul and challenged my thinking. Please don't ever stop writing these