Norah at the Nursery... (taken by Aunt Jodie)
“The world is a very noisy place. If you want to be heard, you have to speak up.” –that is the motto of a company called LOUD, an advertising agency located in Australia. And they’re right, you know… This world is so noisy! Everywhere you go there are stereos blasting, cell phones ringing and TV’s screaming. These days, you can’t even sit down to a quiet meal in a restaurant because they are not only playing the radio at that really annoying volume right above inaudibility and right below song-recognition-level, but they may also be playing several TV’s at once that are all tuned to different stations! It seems that advances and discoveries in technology and communication are not only making our world smaller, but they are also making it a whole lot louder. At times it seems that there are no quiet places left.
That is one thing I love about Young Life camp… it’s quiet. I mean, there is music at dinner and club is really loud, but outside of that, campers and leaders are surrounded by nature and its deafening quiet. Young Life camp becomes real to me right before we get off the bus and take away all the cell phones and iPods. You should see their bewildered faces… I think most kids honestly believe that without their portable noise machines they will actually starve or something. But then they get off the bus and start to just live, talk and laugh to the soundtrack of crickets, breezes and the occasional thunderstorm. When we went to Crooked Creek Ranch in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, we hiked to the summit of an 11,000 ft peak and just sat in silence for two minutes. I think it was the first time most of those kids had ever sat in waking silence, and God was there.
Tom always says that our world is so stinkin’ noisy because Satan likes it that way… that he lives in the noise and confusion. Proverbs 9:13 says, “The woman Folly is loud; she is undisciplined and without knowledge. She sits at the door of her house, on a seat at the highest point of the city, calling out to those who pass by, who go straight on their way.”
For those of us trying to keep going straight on our way, we have to learn to have a quiet heart. Wisdom is quiet, subtle, harder to hear. Folly shouts from the highest place, loud enough for everyone to hear. It’s easy to fall away and follow that bellowing voice, but over and over again the Scriptures talk about how important it is to be quiet… Peter says that a gentle and quiet spirit is of great worth in God’s sight. Isaiah 30 says, “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength.” Chapter 32 says, “The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.” Even our Lord woke early when it was still dark and went to lonely places to pray.
We have to learn to be still… to quiet our souls as David said in Psalm 131. And it’s not that I’ve ever heard God’s audible voice by just being quiet enough… I’m not saying or guaranteeing that by being quiet you’ll hear Him like that, but one thing I do know… when you have a quiet heart, Folly won’t be as loud in your ears.