Maybe I’m just getting old. They say, “You know you’re getting old when any sound you don’t make bothers you.” But really, don’t you find life can be too noisy?! And does it seem to you that it is getting noisier all the time? Machines whirring, constant chatter, more and more people in a hurry and eager to beep their horns, and always – I mean always – something close by beeping some reminder at you. Then there is the ‘noise’ of fast paced living. Even in the absence of sounds, the level of activity itself seems ‘noisy.’
If you have encountered any sort of life changing trauma, be it cancer, loss of a loved one, loss of a job, or some chronic pain, you know that even soundless tension can also register as noise and set your spirit on edge. I experienced this when I contracted Tinnitus. It was as if a switch went On that I could never turn Off. The ringing in my ears was and is like the whine of a jet engine that never goes away. Fifteen years later, I still long for “the sounds of silence.” Perhaps you’ve been in a situation where you’ve had to closely attend to medical routines, medications, or pain levels. So much mental focus becomes unbearably ‘noisy’.
If you endure such an experience, you might come to experience an appreciation for a quieter, slower pace of life. Some things that once seemed urgent become less important. It’s fine to want to be excellent in what you do, but it really doesn’t add any value if you sand the studs before you put on the drywall, if you know what I mean.
There are seasons of life that are busier and noisier than others and we all have to get through those and enjoy them the best we can. But if you find that life has become too noisy and hectic, perhaps it is time to make a list of how you can slow down. In business we used to ask, “What needs to stop and what needs to start?” “What do we need to do less of (or stop doing entirely because it just wastes time) and what do I need to do more of?” Try it. You’ll be glad you did if it leads you to slow down and enjoy a bit more peace in your life. And for ultimate peace, turn down the noise in your life and turn to God. Spend quiet time meditating on and memorizing His Word. If you are too busy for God, you might be too busy.
“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3