If we’re adding to the noise
turn off this song
If we’re adding to the noise
turn off your stereo, radio, video…
(Switchfoot: Adding to the noise)
I don’t know when it happens for you, but I’m pretty sure it must hit everyone at some point: the noise of life…the noise of this culture. I’m not even referring to the sound of it, though the sound of pop culture could definitely be described as noise. Music these days….sheesh. I remember when I thought my parents were lame for wanting to listen to talk radio (no offense Mom & Dad!), and now it’s all I listen to on the radio as well.
Anyway, I’m not talking about Katy Perry or Justin Bieber – don’t I sound like I know what I’m talking about? I just see these people on the sides of buses. No, the noise I’m talking about is all the information that we find ourselves bombarded with.
You could spend your entire day just trying to keep tabs on what everyone’s doing. Whether you’re concerned with what’s happening globally, or as locally as what’s happening down the street, you can likely find out about it online. Who’s doing what? When? Why? Are they enjoying it? Are they grumpy about something? Needing coffee? Bored? Hungry? This is all important information, and aren’t you thankful you can spend your day getting to know the intimate details of the people you are so close to? Don’t you feel more connected to Jenny because you now know that she scored a sweet deal on a pair of jeans at the Gap? Thanks, Facebook, for filling the void that was missing all these years.
I’m not saying it’s all bad. But I do know that my life has gotten way too noisy. I regularly check facebook for updates, because I feel like I’m somehow getting adult connections in a day that would otherwise be dominated by talk of dinosaurs, Batman, lava, wii, snacks, snacks, potty, and snacks. For the past (how many?) years I’ve been on Facebook, I’ve felt like it’s provided a needed connection for me. And maybe it has. But lately it’s felt mostly lame. I’m struck by all the unnecessary information people share. What did we do before we had a forum to freely share the first thing that comes to mind? Perhaps we didn’t think our thoughts were so important, and if they really were important enough to share, we’d have done so with an actual person. Imagine.
All the information on websites is really noisy too. While it’s nice to have food blogs, parenting blogs, natural living blogs, insert your interest here ______ blogs, all the information just gets to be overwhelming. Lately I feel like I’ve spent so much time reading and filling my head with what other people are doing with their families in their homes, that I have neglected what is going on with my family in my home. I don’t mean to sound like I know everything when I say this, but really, I’ve got enough information about how to cook, clean, parent, and manage my home. I don’t lack information – what I lack is the ability to put my knowledge into practice, because I’m too busy trying to get more information.
Allow me to be really honest and transparent for a moment. At the risk of sounding like a bad mom, I’m going to tell you a story. Last week I was feeling really low – just sad, and I don’t know why…let’s blame hormones, because that’s what women do, right? I sat down on the couch for a big cry, and the boys were busy playing Wii. Instead of looking away from the tv to ask me what the matter was, they kept playing. I felt hurt that they seemed oblivious to my tears, until it dawned on me: they learned this from me. How many times have I been ‘busy’ reading or writing something on my computer, and my kids have come to me with a request? “Just a second guys, just let me finish what I’m doing here.” Yes, there are times they need to learn patience. But there are more times when I need to shelve what I’m doing and just listen and be more present than I have been. I’ve had times in the past few months that I’ve felt a little convicted that I need to cut back on the information overload and just be here now with my kids. But habits are hard to break, and good intentions don’t go anywhere without a plan, so back to my old rut I would go. My big cry on the couch was a big moment when I felt the Holy Spirit speaking very loudly to me that I need to make a change. I don’t want my kids to take a back seat to what Tom and Tiffany are watching on tv tonight, because that detail, quite frankly, is not important. My kids are.
When I consider the future, I want to spend more time doing what God would have me do. I want to be obedient to him in loving my husband (why aren’t there more blogs about that?!), raising my kids, serving my neighbours, being an active part of the church. I want to love Jesus more, and I want to love the people of this world more, and the things of this world less. I don’t want my sight to be set so low, that I forget the bigger picture here. I serve a great God, mighty saviour, victorious king! He has saved me from sin and his own wrath, and he’s kept me on this earth so that I might tell others about him. I want to live in light of that truth, I want to live for his mission.
If God should be gracious enough to allow you to grow old and gray, when you look back on your life, what do you want to have spent your time here doing? What voices do you want to listen to? What’s important, and what’s just loud?