THE WORLD IS NOISY
Everybody has a voice, and many of us exercise our freedom of speech on social media. Social media streams update every second. We are not short on material, but every post is not equal.
I agree everyone’s voice has value, but everyone’s voice is not equal. Some content is more important than others. Should we consider censoring our own choices? Yes.
We should tune out the content that is just noise.
THE YEAR 2020
The year 2020 has challenged us beyond measure. You and I have witnessed the devastation of COVID-19. Maybe you lost your job or a family member to the virus.
Maybe you have suffered the ill-effects of isolation. It is proven the adverse effects of social distancing is real. Wearing masks also adds to the isolation. Talking through a mask makes us feel disconnected and misunderstood. COVID-19, isolation, and masks have our attention, and the voice of COVID-19 is loud.
The question is, how much attention do we give to unimportant voices?
It’s not always that we need to do more but rather that we need to focus on less.— Nathan W. Morris
Learning to tune out the noise…
THE VOICE WE NEED
The first voice of value is the voice we need. If we have cancer, a voice of healing is the voice we need. The person living with cancer also needs a voice of hope. Maybe you are suffering from depression. The depressed person needs a voice of love and support.
Depressed people do not need to listen to voices of despair and cynicism. Right?
Maybe you need a voice of encouragement and inspiration. We all need that voice.
THE VOICE WE DESIRE
Desire is huge. Desire establishes everything you do. You go to the restaurant of your choice because you desire their cuisine. Most of us seek voices that confirm what we believe.
This is not always healthy. The election is a perfect example. We rush to open the headline on social media that confirms the news about our preferred candidate. I get it.
But how much is enough? Searching for great content on social media is much like looking through a dumpster for some food. The dumpster has plenty of content to go through, but how much of it is worth the search? Social Media and the news is similar.
How much news and social media scanning is enough?
Carey Nieuwhof says, Stop endlessly scrolling. Put limits on what you watch. If you can’t control yourself, delete the apps, load your favorite apps in a browser, and scroll once a day. Glamor and addiction wear off fast.
Continuous scanning is not healthy. FOMO (fear of missing out) captures our emotions. This phobia (desire) steals our time and robs our destiny. Most of what we are seeking is the noise of the jungle.
Your jungle may be political, the COVID-19 jungle, or the pornography jungle. As you have heard, the jungle gets loud at night. The jungle gets louder at night. When navigating in the dark, the noises get louder. I don’t know if this is because the noise is louder or because the absence of sight refocuses our attention to the sounds of the jungle.
It would benefit you and me to determine what is helpful and what is noise. Placing limits on the content you consume is a great idea.
We must get to the right voice and push out the wrong voices.
Seth Godin says it this way:
Standing at my desk this summer, it had just turned 10 am, and I realized that I’d already: Heard from an old friend, engaged with three team members on two continents, read 28 blogs across the spectrum AND found out about the weather and the news around the world. Half my life ago, in a similar morning spent in a similar office, not one of those things would have been true.The incoming (and our ability to create more outgoing) is probably the single biggest shift that computers have created in our work lives. Sometimes, we subscribe or go and fetch the information, and sometimes it comes to us, unbidden and unfiltered. But it’s there and it’s compounding. One option is to simply cope with the deluge, to be a victim of the firehose. Another is to make the problem worse by adding more noise and spam to the open networks that we depend on. A third might be, just for an hour, to turn it off. All of it. To sit alone and create the new thing, the thing worth seeking out, the thing that will cause a positive change.
THE NECESSARY VOICE
The necessary voice is the voice that brings change. The voice that stirs my curiosity and challenges my beliefs. This is the essential voice. There are voices and content that are more important than others. We must tune out the less important voices.
The less important voices cause you and me to live distracted. The many voices of this world will draw you from one screen to another, one topic to another, and one argument to another — the less important life.
For the Christian, our life belongs to God. Our purpose is discovered in God’s purpose. That is why the voice of God is the most important. We can choose the noise of the world or the voice of God.
The noise of the world never stops. The news is 24 hours. The radio programs never stop. The billboards declare their message 24 hours a day. And then there is the phone. The notifications keep coming. The text messages keep coming.
When will we say enough?
The leech has two daughters — Give and Give! Three things are never satisfied. Four never says, “Enough!”: The grave, The barren womb, The earth that is not satisfied with water — and the fire never says, “Enough!”
Some things never say enough. Other things that say enough in the wrong way.
This is where God says, “tune out the noise — come to me.”
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28, NKJV)
Let us, therefore, come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16, NKJV)
Then He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake, and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire and after the fire a still small voice. So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (I Kings 19:11–13, NKJV)
Look at what God says, come to me if you are heavy and come to me in your time of need.
And look at the message in I Kings 19, “a voice came to him and said.”
God is still speaking.
Are we so in tune with the noise that God’s voice is silenced?
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